Ilves, Vike-Freiberga to run for EU presidency

  • 2009-11-16
  • Oskars Magone

The European Council will choose its first president on Thursday.

RIGA - Former Latvian President Vaira Vike-Freiberga and acting Estonian Prime Minister Toomas Hendrick Ilves are set to run against each other for the post of EU President.

Now that the final hurdles to the Lisbon Treaty have been overcome, speculation has run rampant over who will become the EU's first president. The European Council will decide on the next president on Thursday.

Vike-Freiberga, who is known in her home country as the "Iron Lady", was officially nominated by the Latvian government at a closed session on Nov. 16. ""I really do think that I have absolutely all the professional qualifications," the former president told journalists at a press conference with Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis.

Ilves' name was put forward for the post by Estonian Prime Minister  Andrus Ansip on Nov. 13.

Main contenders for the post include Belgian Prime Minister Herman Van Rompuy, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, and Luxembourg's prime minister Jean-Claude Juncker.