Latvia’s new parliament elects Speaker

Latvia’s new parliament assembled for its first session on Tuesday, to swear in lawmakers and elect leaders in a televised ceremony.

Edvards Smiltens of the United List became the new parliament Speaker, with 82 votes in favour and 11 votes against. Meanwhile, his rival Aleksejs Roslikovs of Stability was supported by the 11 members of his party, but 82 MPs voted against him.

Smiltens’ victory was predictable, since the United List, along with New Unity and the National Alliance, is likely to become a partner in Latvia’s next government coalition, Xinhua news agency reported.

Zanda Kalnina-Lukasevica of New Unity, and Janis Grasbergs of the National Alliance were elected Vice-Speakers of the Latvian parliament.

Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins’ New Unity party came out in the lead in the parliament election on October 1 and is currently holding talks with the United List and the National Alliance to form the Baltic country’s new government coalition.

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