Vaira departs 's but for how long?

  • 2007-07-06
  • By TBT staff and wire reports

YOU'VE GOT MY NUMBER: Vaira Vike-Freiberga will remain on call even after she departs (Picture: LETA)

RIGA - During a series of press interviews to round off her tenure as Latvia's president July 5, Vaira Vike-Freiberga hinted that her departure may not be as complete as her opponents would wish.

Asked in what circumstances she would consider a return to the political scene, Vike-Freiberga refused to rule out a comeback.

"If a disastrous deviation [from current progress] were to occur at once, I would feel it my duty to get involved. I am not sure if I would do it by establishing a political party, but I would not deny such a possibility," she said.

"The challenge of establishing a political party is getting yourself a team, selecting people you can fully trust and being different from the ones already in existence… I would not willingly do something like that. It is not my idea of an easy old age," she added with a laugh.

The president also signalled that she would remain on call, presumably in case her successor Valdis Zatlers has any questions during his early days in the job: "I am someone who can be woken in the middle of the night at the push of a button and asked any question. They can be sure to receive an answer," Vike-Freiberga said.

Earlier in the day, Foreign Ministry official Normunds Penke admitted that his department would like to use the popularity of Vike-Freiberga to promote Latvia abroad even after the expiry of her term of office.

Outlining what she views as the current priorities of government, Vike-Freiberga said: "The government must take action to reduce inflation and we have to continue reducing the current account deficit. These two are the most important tasks."

Retaining a level of popular support most politicians can only dream of and with a reputation at home and abroad as a first class stateswoman, any move by Vike-Freiberga into the party political system would have opponents quaking in their boots.

They'll be hoping that no "disastrous deviations" crop up in the near future to lure Vike-Freiberga back from writing her memoirs.