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Piebalgs willing to hand over leadership in Unity party to Smiltens
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    Piebalgs willing to hand over leadership in Unity party to Smiltens

    RIGA, July 17 (LETA) – Outgoing chairman of Latvia’s Unity party Andris Piebalgs believes that his deputy Edvards Smiltens is the most appropriate candidate for the party’s next chairman.

    Piebalgs said in an interview with the Latvian public television on Monday that the Unity’s members are expecting radical changes in the party and he has not been able to ensure such changes. Also, the crisis in the party is much deeper than he had expected earlier.

    He said that changes in the party’s leadership would be the first radical change, and, in his opinion, Smiltens would be the best candidate for the next party head.

    "We have been working closely as a team, and I can tell that Smiltens is one of the best candidates. In my opinion, the party members should agree on support to one candidate and then vote on it," said Piebalgs.

    As reported, the Unity today should agree on the date for the next congress. Initially it was planned to hold the congress in September, but on Friday Piebalgs announced that he will not run for the position of the party’s chairman, and the congress will be held sooner.

    Smiltens said he would be prepared to run for party leader at the next party congress.

    Piebalgs was appointed party leader on June 4 of last year, replacing the party's controversial then leader Solvita Aboltina.

    Piebalgs has been a member of Unity since 2014, and served on the European Commission as a commissioner from 2004 to 2014.

    • Published: 17.07.2017 10:20
    • LETA
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