The For Development/For! alliance of parties agreed at its December 7 faction sitting to nominate Saeima deputy Artūrs Toms Plešs as its pick to become the new Minister for Environmental Protection and Regional Development.
Subject to an affirmatory vote in Saeima, Plešs will replace party colleague Juris Pūce who quit as a result of a strange scandal which saw him asking for a parking space he wasn't entitled to and then saying he hadn't done so.
"I would like to confirm that I will do everything in my power to move Latvia towards climate neutrality, make significant changes in the digitalisation of the country and move towards more balanced regional development,” Plešs said in a statement following the decision to put his name forward. He has been working as parliamentary secretary at the ministry under Pūce.
Acting chairman of the For Development board, MEP Ivars Ijabs, pointed out a curious piece of trivia, noting: "Artūrs has the opportunity to become the first minister born in a free Latvia after it regained its independence.”
Plešs was born on January 4, 1992, the year after Latvia regained its independence. If the Saeima approves him as Minister of Environmental Protection and Regional Development, he will be the youngest minister of this government and one of the three youngest ministers in the history of Latvia.
From June 2017 to October 2018, Plešs sat on Bauska district council. He holds a bachelor's degree in transport engineering from Riga Technical University and a master's degree in urban and regional engineering economics.
For Development/For! is part of the ruling Latvian government coalition. Ministries are generally divided up between coalition members when a government is formed and each party "keeps" its portfolio of ministries even if a particular minister leaves for whatever reason.
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