Leftist parties' union to nominate ex Communist leader Alfred Rubiks as prime minister

The union of Latvian leftist parties and organizations "For Human Rights in United Latvia" intends to win the parliamentary elections due in early October, the Union's leaders said at a press conference on Thursday.

They also intend to nominate ex Communist leader Alfred Rubiks as prime minister. After independence in the country had been restored Rubiks was found guilty of attempting a coup and spent almost 6 years in prison. Now he is the leader of the Social party, a member of the Union.

"I believe the Union may take first place at the coming elections and thus receive a right to form the new Latvian government," said MP Janis Jurkans, leader of the Latvian leftists, to journalists. The union was "fully ready" for this, he pointed out.

Jurkans recalled that in the early 1990s he had held a post of foreign minister, while Dainis Turlais, ex Soviet colonel, participant of the operation on withdrawing Soviet troops from Afghanistan, also included in the electoral list, had been the interior minister. The Union's MPs are ready to head the ministries of economy, justice, welfare, education and science, Jurkans said.

He named Rubiks a possible candidate to prime minister. Though the Union might refrain from claiming this post in order to form a governing coalition with his participation, he pointed out.

Observers forecast that at least 20 per cent of voters will vote for the Union in the coming elections. Its leaders believe that they may win even 30 per cent of the mandates. At present the Union is represented by 16 MPs in the seim of 100 people.