President Vējonis will not seek second term in office

In a widely expected move May 7, Latvian State President Raimonds Vējonis confirmed that he will not seek a second term in office when his current term expires in a few weeks' time.

The news came after a meeting between Vējonis and Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš Tuesday morning after which Vējonis said:

"“For four years I have worked hard for the good of the Latvian people, doing my best… But of course, these are just a few years devoted to increasing the sustainability and prosperity of the Latvian state.”

The decision was taken by Vējonis despite the idea of his repeated candidacy being supported by the Latvian Green Party, of which he was a member prior to taking up the role of head of state. However, no other parties had given official backing to the idea of a second term, despite the fact that he has retained generally positive ratings among the public throughout his time in Rīga Castle. 

Coalition parties have instead thrown their backing behind lawyer and judge Egils Levits, who seems increasingly likely to be a shoo-in as the next president. 

Candidates for the presidency will be eligible for submission to Saeima from 9 May with the Saeima presidential election likely to take place at an extraordinary session on 29 May. 

For more on the new way in which a president will be chosen, see our recent explainer.

Vējonis was elected in June 2015, beating Levits in a final run-off vote and survived a serious health scare early in his presidency.

 

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