RIGA - Saeima on Wednesday elected New Unity's candidate, long-term Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics (New Unity) as Latvia's new president.
Rinkevics was elected with 52 votes. Since the first round of voting, Rinkevics was supported by New Unity (26 votes) and the Union of Greens of Farmers (16 votes). After the third presidential candidate Elina Pinto dropped out in the third round, Progressives also voted for Rinkevics (10 votes).
Rinkevics will take the president's office in early June when the term of the office of incumbent President Egils Levits expires. Levits withdraw his candidacy for the presidential run as he did not feel a convincing support of the coalition for re-election.
Other two candidates for the president were United List founder and businessman Uldis Pilens who was nominated by the United List and public administration expert Elina Pinto nominated by Progressives.
During the first two rounds of voting, none of the candidates received the necessary majority of votes.
Rinkevics was born in 1973 in Jurmala.
Rinkevics has graduated from the University of Latvia, Faculty of History and Philosophy, has has two Master's degrees from the University of Latvia in Political Science and from the U.S. National Defense University, Industrial College of the Armed Forces, in National Resource Strategy.
Since 2011 he has been the Foreign Minister in the governments headed by prime ministers Valdis Dombrovskis, Laimdota Straujuma, Maris Kucinskis and both governments of Krisjanis Karins.
In the recent parliament elections in 2022 he was elected to the parliament from the ticket of the New Unity.
Rinkevics has been decorated as the Grand Officer of the Order of Three Stars, Commander of the Great Cross of the Order of Viesturs, and has received high decorations from NATO and Latvia's allied countries.