Today, indirect presidential elections were held in Latvia on 31 May 2023 to elect the President of Latvia, who is the country’s head of state. Four candidates were originally in the race:
Uldis Pilens and Elina Pinto from the Indepednent Party. However, Pilens was endorsed by the United List and Latvia First, while into was endorsed by The Progressives. Pilens announced on 11 Apr 23 and Pinto announced on 11 May 23. Edgars Rinkevics, who was the Minister of Foreign Affairs since 2022, ran under the New Unity Party and also announced on 11 May 23. Incumbent President Levits did announce re-election bids on 17 Apr 23. However, on 10 May 23, he rescinded his candidacy due to stark resistance to his reelection and worries that a majority vote would not be reached.
In Latvia, presidential candidates must be nominated by their political parties and win a simple majority in the Saeima, the Latvian Parliament. If no majority is reached, the Saeima, under chairmanship by the Speaker organizes follow on votes until 51 is reached.
Today, Rinkevics was elected after three rounds of voting and won 52 votes against Uldis Pilens who won 35 votes. Pinto won 0 votes for a total of 87/100 members of Parliament electing the head of the Latvian government.
Outgoing Latvian President Levits told press that the country will be in safe hands under Rinkevics. They also agreed to meet on 2 Jul 23 at Riga Palace for an official turnover and press call.
President-Elect Rinkevics has since appointed Parliament Secretary Reire to head of the President’s Office in his first official appointment as president.
Edgars Rinkevics is a Latvian public official and politician. He previously served as Minister of Foreign Affairs of Latvia, from 2011 to 2023. Before beginning in this role, he served as head of the Chancery of the President of Latvia, as State Secretary of the Ministry of Defence, as well as a deputy of the Saeima.
Having previously represented Latvian Way and the Reform Party, he has been a member of the Unity party since May 2014. Rinkevics said he welcomed the news about the establishment of full diplomatic relations between Israel and Bahrain. Rinkevics expressed deep concern over the escalation of hostilities in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh and called on Armenia and Azerbaijan to immediately halt fighting and progress towards a peaceful resolution. (Wiki)