New Unity to nominate Rinkevics for president

  • 2023-05-11
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - New Unity political alliance will nominate Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics (New Unity) for Latvia's next president, as New Unity's representatives told a press conference on Thursday.

According to LETA archives, Rinkevics was born in Jurmala in 1973.

Rinkevics has graduated from the University of Latvia's History and Philosophy Department and obtained Political Sciences and International Relations Studies certificate from Groningen University in the Netherlands. He also has a Master's degree in Political Science from the University of Latvia and a Master's degree in National Resource Strategy from the U.S. National Defense University, Industrial College of the Armed Forces.

Rinkevics worked for Latvian Radio as a foreign policy and international relations journalist in the 1990s, he then held different positions at the Defense Ministry, in 1997 he was appointed the Defense Ministry's state secretary and went on to work in the position for more than ten years.

From 2002 through 2003, Rinkevics was deputy head of the Latvian delegation for accession negotiations with NATO, and from 2005 to 2007 he was head of the office for organizing the NATO summit of heads of state and government.

From October 2008 to July 2011, Rinkevics was head of President Valdis Zatlers' Chancery.

Rinkevics was appointed foreign minister in the government of Valdis Dombrovskis (Unity) in 2011 and joined Zatlers' Reform Party in 2012.

Rinkevics stayed on as the foreign minister also in the governments of Laimdota Straujuma (Unity), Maris Kucinskis, and both governments of Krisjanis Karins (New Unity).

Rinkevics joined Unity party in 2014, and was elected to the 14th Saeima from political association New Unity's ticket in 2022.

Rinkevics is grand officer of the Order of Three Stars, commander of the Great Cross of the Order of Viesturs, he has also received a number of NATO awards and state awards from several allies of Latvia.

New Unity decided to nominate its own candidate for the president after the current President Egils Levits, who the party said it would support for re-election, said that he would not run for a second term.

Prior to that, New Unity politicians said that the party wanted three coalition members to agree on a single presidential candidate, which has not happened so far.

By Thursday, only one candidate had been nominated for Latvia's president: Uldis Pilens, the founder of the United List. The Progressives said earlier on Thursday that they would nominate public governance expert Elina Pinto as the party's presidential candidate.