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Latvian president gives ruling parties week to agree new gov't

RIGA, Oct. 22 (Xinhua) -- Latvian President Andris Berzins has given would-be coalition partners a week till Oct. 29 to come to an agreement on the composition of the new Cabinet of Ministers, Solvita Aboltina, the leader of the centre-right Unity party, told journalists.

Latvia's three ruling parties, the Unity, the centrist Greens and Farmers Union (ZZS) and the nationalist conservative National Alliance, told Berzins that they still had not reached an agreement on the distribution of ministerial portfolios, with the Environment Protection and Regional Development Ministry remaining the main bone of contention between ZZS and the National Alliance.

"We were told to reach the agreement by next Wednesday. Otherwise, if the agreement is not reached, the current coalition will have proven its failure in the eyes of the electorate and shown that 61 votes in parliament is not enough to form a government," said Aboltina.

Talks on the new government have been suspended this week as coalition partners are working on the government declaration.

After Latvia's 2014 general election on Oct. 4, the three ruling parties have 61 of the 100 seats in Latvian parliament, the Saeima.

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