President-elect's normal life more trouble than it's worth

President-elect Raimonds Vējonis’ wish to maintain residence in his suburban Ogre apartment while serving his pending term would cost more and require more complicated arrangements than just living at the presidential house in Jurmala, Lieutenant General Raimonds Graube, Commander of Latvia’s National Armed Forces (NBS) told LTV morning news Panorāma Friday.

The chief commanding officer of the armed forces said it’s hard to imagine how presidential security would be ensured at the Ogre apartment block where the Vejonis family now live. The vigil requires two armed officers on rotating shifts who then also need to find accommodations nearby.

Outgoing head-of-state Andris Bērziņš’ home life as a former bank president with rural land holdings was far simpler to secure for the appropriate state authorities.

“It sounds nice that the president would live like most of the rest of society, however from the point of view of security it’s complicated,” said Graube.

The costs of such an ongoing operation would also be higher. Whereas the official residence in Jūrmala is under constant guard anyway, thus moving in there would save commuting costs from Ogre, the general added.

Vējonis has expressed the desire to keep living with his family in their accustomed apartment home alongside their longstanding and trusted neighbors while keeping up official protocol at Jūrmala.

Defense minister Vējonis was elected the next President of Latvia Wednesday as the nominee of the Greens and Farmers’ Union (ZZS) faction in Saeima with 55 votes in his favor and 42 againsts.

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