Pīlēns told LTV's morning news show "Morning Panorama" that he had pondered whether to put his name forward over the Easter holidays ater being asked to do so by his United List colleagues, and decided to do so immediately after the long weekend.
"If I declare my readiness to compete for the position of president, it means that I am sure that I can be one of the contenders for this position. The question is, can I win? I feel that I can win, but the vote in the Saeima on May 31 will show that," said Pīlēns.
When asked whether he would be willing to accept the support of opposition MPs in the presidential elections, Pīlēns' reply included veiled criticism of his likely rival, Levits, who has said he will not accept support from certain opposition parties (though in truth they would be highly unlikely to vote for him anyway).
In contrast, Pīlēns said the approach that some MPs are holier than others or that some votes are worse than others is not correct, because the presidential institution must be politically neutral. "If someone from the opposition votes for me, then that's very good," Pīlēns reasoned.
He said that if he was elected president, he would have three priorities: security, national economy and regional development.
Pīlēns believes that his years of experience in business management will help to achieve these goals. According to him, Latvia can work better and more efficiently.
"Our common goal is to make Latvia better, to show that Latvia can do more, to make Latvia's economy bigger and more sustainable," Pīlēns said.
Pīlēns is the first to announce his candidacy in the presidential elections to be held in May. The current President Egils Levits has not yet confirmed whether or not he will run for re-election.
However, Levits has admitted that in the event of a repeated candidacy for the position of president, he would not want to receive support from political forces that are not in favor of a Western-oriented and Latvian Latvia.
You can learn how Latvia chooses its president in this explanatory feature.