Public figures from across the spectrum offer show of support for Levits

A number of intellectuals and public figures have turned to the parliament to support the presidential candidacy of Egilts Levits, a judge at the Court of Justice of the European Union. 

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The letter, signed by about a hundred people and sent to the press, stresses that Levits has "provided an invaluable contribution to the restoration and development of the Latvian state. His work gives evidence of a consequential stance over the ideals of a democratic, national and socially responsible state and rule of law. He has always defended the basic principles of the Constitution and has supported an open, modern Latvian state that respects its language and culture in the family of European countries."

Signatories of the initiative, titled "For an excellent Latvian head of state", include Anglican preacher Juris Cālītis, Soviet-era dissident Lidija Doroņina-Lasmane, architect Zaiga Gaile, theater director Alvis Hermanis, writer Nora ikstena, independence figurehead Dainis Īvāns, director Viesturs Kairišs, journalist Mārtiņš Ķibilds, writer Māra Zālīte, and others. 

Levits traditionally enjoys support from conservative and right-of-center figures and parties, but this show of support, though right-leaning, is notable in that it does include people from across the political spectrum. 

The last working day of current President Raimonds Vējonis is July 7 and the election is to take place in June. Precisely who will be sitting in Rīga Castle on July 8 remains to be seen, but if you are thinking of being a candidate and would like to try it out for size, you can take a virtual tour.

You can read more about the presidential election process, the history of the Latvian presidency and about previous presidents at the official presidential website (though note the information about the change from a secret to an open Saeima vote has yet to be updated).

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