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LATVIA-Russia-Hawk Rinkēvičs Elected President In 3rd Ballot


Latvian Minister of Foreign Affairs since 2011 Edgars Rinkēvičs has been elected president by the country's parliament (Saeima) in the third round of voting. While the position is largely ceremonial, the election process has divided the two largest parties in the governing coalition, potentially hindering the ability of the two to work together post-election.

  • Rinkēvičs secured the support of 52 deputies in the third ballot, clearing the 51-out-of-100 deputy threshold by a narrow margin. The long-standing foreign minister secured the support of his own liberal conservative New Unity, the agrarian Union of Greens and Farmers, and the centre-left Progressives (who in the first two ballots had backed their own candidate).
  • The second-largest party in the governing coalition, the green conservative United List, backed party founder Uldis Pīlēns in all three ballots. It is unclear whether the party will seek to continue supporting the coalition gov't of PM Krišjānis Kariņš (who hails from the same party as Rinkēvičs) after the vote. The next parliamentary election is not due until October 2026 at the latest.
  • The loss of Rinkēvičs at the foreign ministry could be felt keenly in the region given his experience and hard-line hawkish stance on Russia.

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