Latvian Economy Minister Quits to Shore Up Party Before Elections

Arvils Aseradens (center)

Photographer: Valda Kalnina/EPA

Latvia’s economy minister said he’ll resign and return to parliament to help bolster support for his Unity party before elections next year.

Arvils Aseradens, 54, said Thursday that he’ll head the parliamentary faction of the party he leads. Unity, the junior member of the Baltic nation’s ruling coalition, is considering three candidates to replace him, he said in an interview with Latvijas Radio.

Unity has seen its fortunes sag since it was created in 2011 and led governments between 2011 and 2016. Its support fell to 4.4 percent in September, according to a survey by SKDS. Four members of the party’s parliamentary faction said they’ll run on a rival list in elections in October 2018, though currently remain part of the faction and back the government.

“The party must look at the next election, and I see the best solution as me going to parliament and coordinating the government, the faction and the ministers’ work,” Aseradens said. “The leader must be in the place that’s most complicated.”

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