One day until presidential vote in Latvia

On Wednesday, May 31, the Latvian presidential vote in Saeima takes place. On the eve of the vote, a presidential debate with all three candidates will be broadcast on Latvian Television, and livestreams from the election day will also be provided on LTV and LSM.

Three presidential candidates will run for office – diaspora activist Elīna Pinto, entrepreneur Uldis Pīlēns, and diplomat, current foreign minister, Edgars Rinkēvičs. 

For the next president to be elected, they need to collect at least 51 votes of the 100 MPs. 

For the time being, Pinto can count on 10 votes from the Progressives faction, while the two gentlemen have a few more they can count upon. Rinkēvičs has 26 votes from New Unity, whereas Pīlēns has 15 votes from the United List and is promised another nine from Latvia First. 

In theory, the rest of the votes are spread among party factions that have not advanced their own candidates or promised support to any of the three candidates who have stepped forward.

The Union of Greens and Farmers (ZZS) with their 16 votes and the National Alliance (NA) with 13 have both declared they will wait until election day itself to announce their decision. The opposition party For Stability! with ten seats has stated it would "probably not support Pīlēns" and not even meet with Rinkēvičs or Pinto.

Ahead of election day, on May 30 at 21:10, there will be a live head-to-head debate between all three candidates in the LTV studios led by journalists Anete Bērtule and Jānis Geste.

On May 31, the day of the vote itself, a live stream from Saeima will also be available, with journalist Madara Līcīte following the MPs' choices and Anete Bērtule interviewing experts and the public for their reaction to events.

For more on how the President is chosen under the Latvian system, see our earlier feature. For an overview of each of the candidates, see our other story.

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