President and Prime Minister back Baiba Braže for Foreign Minister vacancy

Latvian President Edgars Rinkēvičs on April 17 signalled his support for Baiba Braže to become Latvia's next Minister of Foreign Affairs in a Saeima vote scheduled for Friday.

Speaking on Wednesday, after his weekly meeting with Prime Minister Evika Siliņa (New Unity) Rinkēvičs gave his backing to Baiba Braže's candidacy while being careful to stress that the decision was the Saeima's to make, not his.

The President – himself Latvia's longest-serving Foreign Minister – said former NATO Assistant Secretary General Braže would be a good pick to succeed Krišjānis Kariņš as Foreign Minister.

As previously reported extensively by LSM, Kariņš resigned from the Foreign Minister post amid a scandal over his use of expensive flights while Prime Minister.  

"I know Ms Braže very well from my time at the Foreign Ministry and even before that, so I don't plan to hold talks [with her] before the vote in Saeima vote about the candidacy," said the President. "If Saeima gives its approval on Friday then we can very soon hold talks with the Foreign Minister about concrete work. Of course, it is all in the hands of the Saeima, but I have expressed my support for this candidate," he told reporters. 

Prime Minister Siliņa reaffirmed her own backing for Braže.

"We have a strong candidate for Foreign Minister and that is Baiba Braže. I haven't heard any doubts expressed about her professionalism and I think we can await a positive outcome from the Saeima vote," said Siliņa, adding that if the vote approves Braže – as is highly likely – then she could actively start work next week. 

If she does secure the job, Braže would become only the second woman to hold the position, following Sandra Kalniete more than twenty years ago in 2002-2004.



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