President promulgates changes to how presidents are elected

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Latvian President Raimonds Vējonis has promulgated a landmark law that will change the way future presidents are elected, Latvia's official gazette confirmed October 30.

Vējonis has promulgated amendments to the Constitution, which stipulate that the president of Latvia will be elected by open vote in Saeima as opposed to the secret vote used hitherto.

The amendments come into force on January 1, 2019.

The introduction of an open vote to elect a president should put an end to the spectacle in previous votes where members of parliament have either refused to say who they voted for or have relied on their guarantee of anonymity to simply lie about how they voted - as evidenced by the final vote tally which rarely corresponds with the declared voting patterns. 

Vējonis has yet to say whether he will himself seek a second term as president in 2019. Latvian presidents can serve a maximum of two terms.

Saeima adopted the Constitutional amendments in October but the presidential signature means everything is now in order for the change in the system from next year.

Meanwhile Vējonis is set to continue consultations with political parties October 30 about their efforts to form a new coalition.

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