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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Center, Left Make Pact In Latvia

RIGA -- Latvia's parliament Thursday approved a new coalition government headed by Prime Minister Maris Gailis, putting an end to a two-month political crisis in the Baltic state.

Deputies voted by 49 to 33 with seven abstentions to backthe coalition of the centrist Latvian Way party and the left-leaning Political Union of Economists.

The previous coalition of Latvian Way, the biggest factionin parliament with 33 out of the 100 seats, and the Farmers'Union collapsed in mid-July.

Since then, the tiny state of 2.7 million people has effectively been without a government.

Gailis, the deputy prime minister and State Reform Minister in the outgoing government, said the new administration would continue its predecessor's pro-market stance.

It would also seek to improve ties with neighboring Russia.

The last Russian forces, quit Latvia at the end of August, three years after the three Baltic states gained their independence.

Latvian Way is seen as supporting a transition to a liberalmarket economy while its partners are seen as favoring more state control.