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Second candidate enters race for Latvian presidency

Other News Materials 23 May 2011 19:01
A second candidate was set to join the race for Latvian president Monday, signaling a potential split between the two parties in the ruling coalition
Second candidate enters race for Latvian presidency

A second candidate was set to join the race for Latvian president Monday, signaling a potential split between the two parties in the ruling coalition, DPA reported.

Andris Berzins was expected to be named by five fellow members of the Greens and Farmers Union (ZZS) as their preferred choice for president. He joins incumbent Valdis Zatlers, who confirmed his candidacy on Thursday

The nomination of the 65-year-old banker and parliamentary deputy is likely to complicate matters within the ruling coalition, which consists of ZZS and the Unity bloc of Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis, which is backing Zatlers.

Parliament will choose the new president in a secret vote in the first week of June. Nominations close on Tuesday.

Zatlers is close to securing the necessary 51 votes in the 100-seat parliament to win a second four-year term. If he fails to do so, a second round of voting would be required.

Other potential challengers are believed to include Inguna Sudraba, Latvia's state auditor, though she has yet to confirm she is willing to be put forward for the role.

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