Pīlēns is the first to officially announce his candidacy. The incumbent, President Egils Levits has not confirmed whether he will run this time for a second consecutive term, though it is likely he will do so.
To take the position if elected, Pīlēns will have to pause his business activities. He said work on this is ongoing.
According to Pīlēns, he has "100% support" from the United List party. He did not comment on which other political forces could support him but said he was ready to talk to all. He added that in his view there are no good and bad votes.
"If we - the United List and I - did not see that [I] could get s majority of votes, this would be simple theatrics," Pīlēns said.
Uldis Pīlēns, born in Liepāja, has a degree in architecture and construction and used to be the head architect of the city of Liepāja. In 1988 he created his own business, Architect U. Pīlēns' Bureau (UPB) which he still owns. In 1997 he was elected chair of the board of Liepāja Port, and later worked on the council of energy company Latvenergo. In 2005 he was elected a member of the Liepāja city council. In 2022 he founded the United List as a force unifying various smaller parties ahead of the parliamentary elections, but despite his influence he did not stand for office himself – which may suggest a run for the presidency was on his agenda even then.
UPB worked on a turnover of EUR 235 million last year and is the sole shareholder of several subordinates.
To see how Latvia chooses its president, you might like to refer to this explanatory feature.
According to the Latvian Presidential Election Law, candidacies for the position of the President must be submitted in writing to the Presidium of the Saeima no earlier than 60 days and no later than 55 days before the end of the term of office of the current President. That means they must be handed in between May 9 and May 13. The vote or votes in Saeima to choose the President will take place on May 31.