MP Ilze Viņķele to step down to study in US

On August 29 MP Ilze Viņķele (Unity) posted a blog entry saying she'll be stepping down as a member of the Latvian parliament (Saeima).  

She has yet to confirm the news officially.

In a blog entry, dated August 29, Viņkele revealed that starting September 7 she'll be studying at the McCain Institute at the University of Arizona as one of the eight beneficiaries at the institute established by republican Senator John McCain.

"I'll have the possibility to learn best practices over involving women and young people into politics; work with the electorate; defining content in party programs; political ethics and much more ..." she writes.

She says she will continue to work at the unusually named The Movement For! party where she is a board member and will use the knowledge she gains to benefit the party.

In the entry Viņķele also says she will stop working at the Saeima next week.

Neurosurgeon Renārs Putniņš is expected to take her place at the parliament. 

Viņķele is a long-standing MP and former Welfare Minister. She recently left the Unity party with Lolita Cigane, Andrejs Judins, Aleksejs Loskutovs and Ints Dalderis as their former party's fortunes have hit rock-bottom amid internal wrangles.


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