During the meeting at the Riga Castle on Monday, 7 January 2019, Mr Kariņš informed the President of Latvia of the priorities and tasks of the emerging government by stating that eight areas of activity were prioritized, namely, arrangement of the financial sector, the rule of law, combating the shadow economy, further improvement of the education system and healthcare system, elimination of MPC, administrative-territorial reform, and demography.
The President of Latvia pointed out that the priorities set out represented an understanding of the urgent work to be done by K. Kariņš and the political parties involved in forming the government. The President of Latvia noted that minding the promises made previously in public regarding further strengthening of Latvia’s security, including by envisaging earmarking at least 2% of GDP to the defence spending in the coming years as well and continued implementation of the recommendations made in the Moneyval report was crucial.
As the political parties have agreed on the possible support of the five political parties and the majority of the Parliament for the government led by Mr Kariņš, the President of Latvia calls on the political parties to start working intensively on the government declaration immediately.
“One expects that the work on the government declaration will not be easy, because the political parties have given a number of promises to their voters, for full implementation which there will probably be insufficient financial resources in the state budget this year. In order to avoid possible risks to the stability of the government in the future, it is important for political parties to find common denominators about the sequence and timing of the priorities with the greatest impact on the state budget at the time of making the declaration,” stated the President of Latvia.
During the meeting, Mr Kariņš also introduced the President of Latvia with a possible distribution of responsibilities in the government, as well as nominees for the ministerial posts. “I believe that the current candidates for the positions of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and of the Minister of Defence are knowledgeable and have the necessary experience to fulfil the duties vested in them professionally if the Saeima approves the government in such a composition,” indicated Raimonds Vējonis.
Mr Kariņš informed the President of Latvia that they planned to prepare the government declaration within two weeks so that the Saeima would be able to give a vote of confidence to the government led by him in the fourth week of January.