Raimonds Vējonis

Raimonds Vējonis (born 15 June 1966) is the current President of Latvia, He has been in office since 2015. He is a member of the Green Party, part of the Union of Greens and Farmers. He served as Minister of Environmental Protection and Regional Development in 2002 and in 2011 and as Minister of the Environment from 2003 to 2011, while the Ministry of Regional Development was a separate department. He became Minister of Defence of Latvia in 2014 and held that office until becoming President in 2015.[1]

Raimonds Vējonis
Flickr - Saeima - 10.Saeimas deputāts Raimonds Vējonis
9th President of Latvia
Assumed office
8 July 2015
Prime MinisterLaimdota Straujuma
Māris Kučinskis
Arturs Krišjānis Kariņš
Preceded byAndris Bērziņš
Minister of Defence
In office
22 January 2014 – 7 July 2015
Prime MinisterValdis Dombrovskis
Laimdota Straujuma
Preceded byArtis Pabriks
Succeeded byRaimonds Bergmanis
Minister of Environmental Protection and Regional Development
In office
7 November 2002 – 25 October 2011
Prime MinisterEinars Repše
Indulis Emsis
Aigars Kalvītis
Ivars Godmanis
Valdis Dombrovskis
Preceded byVladimirs Makarovs
Succeeded byEdmunds Sprūdžs
Personal details
Born15 June 1966 (age 52)
Nikonovo, Pskov Oblast, Soviet Union (now Russia)
Political partyGreen Party
Spouse(s)Iveta Vējone
Alma materUniversity of Latvia

Early life and career

Vējonis was born on 15 June 1966 in Pskov Oblast to a Latvian father and a Russian mother, while his father was serving in the Soviet army there. He grew up in Sarkaņi and attended school in the nearby town of Madona.[2] Vējonis became interested in environmental protection because his grandfather had been blinded by chemicals used on a Soviet collective farm.[3]

He graduated from Faculty of Biology of the University of Latvia in 1989 and obtained a master's degree from it in 1995. During his studies he worked as a biology teacher in Madona. From 1989 to 1996 he was deputy director of Madona Regional Environmental board. He was a member of Madona city council from 1990 to 1993. From 1996 to 2002 he was director of Greater Riga Regional Environmental board, during this period he also was a board member in Skulte port and served as state representative at Getliņi Eko waste management company.[4]

Political career

In 2002 Vējonis became Minister of Environmental Protection and Regional Development.[5]

He was elected as President of Latvia on 3 June 2015, receiving the votes of 55 of the 100 members of the Saeima.[4] He used his victory speech to promise to ensure national security, in light of events in Ukraine, while protecting the environment.[3] He became the first head of state in the European Union to be a member of a green party.[3][5] After seven parties were elected to Saeima following the 2018 Latvian parliamentary election and representatives were unsuccessful in agreeing upon a new coalition, Vējonis was called on to nominate a candidate for Prime Minister of Latvia himself.[6] After his first choice of Jānis Bordans from New Conservative Party was rejected by possible coalition partners,[7] Vējonis then nominated Aldis Gobzems of Who owns the state? on November 26, 2018 and gave him a two week deadline to form a government.[8][9]

Personal life

Vējonis speaks fluent Russian[10] and decent English in addition to Latvian, and is married and has two children.[3] He is a Baltic pagan.[3][5]

Health problems

On 18 January 2016 Vējonis was hospitalized. He was first transported to the Toxicology and Sepsis Clinic of the Riga East Clinical University Hospital branch Gaiļezers, but a day later was transferred to the Latvian Cardiology Center at Pauls Stradiņš Clinical University Hospital.[11][12] The press counselor of the president initially did not disclose the nature of the illness and suggested that the president had a viral infection. However independent medical experts theorized that Vējonis probably had an infective endocarditis. On January 20 Vējonis underwent emergency open heart surgery to eliminate the source of infection in which the heart valve damaged by sepsis was replaced with an artificial heart valve.[13][14] Later on unnamed sources told the press that the illness was likely caused by untreated tonsillitis, the press counselor of the president, while still refusing to disclose exact diagnosis, confirmed that the president had been having issues with his throat and his voice had been very hoarse.[15]

Vējonis left hospital on February 26 to undergo physical therapy at National Rehabilitation Center "Vaivari".[16] He was reported to be doing some work during his illness, but fully resumed his official duties on 30 March after spending more than two months recovering.[17]


National Honours
Foreign Honours


  1. ^ "The Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Latvia: Raimonds Vējonis". Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Latvia. Archived from the original on 2010-11-19. Retrieved 2010-04-17.
  2. ^ Zirnis, Egīls (21 February 2014). "Vējonis - militāri zaļais kompromiss" (in Latvian). Diena. Retrieved 3 June 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d e Collier, Mike; Sibierski, Mary (3 June 2015). "Latvia elects Vejonis, EU's first Green president". Yahoo!. Agence France-Presse. Retrieved 5 June 2015.
  4. ^ a b "Jaunais Latvijas Valsts prezidents - Raimonds Vējonis". Lsm.lv (in Latvian). 3 June 2015. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
  5. ^ a b c Collier, Mike (June 3, 2015). "Latvia provides EU's first «green» president - Raimonds Vējonis". Public Broadcasting of Latvia. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  6. ^ "President Vējonis again tries to persuade parties to form a government". Public Broadcasting of Latvia. LETA. November 2, 2018. Retrieved 2018-11-27.
  7. ^ "Three parties leave New Conservatives' government talks". Public Broadcasting of Latvia. LETA. November 14, 2018. Retrieved 2018-11-27.
  8. ^ "Gobzems nominated for PM". Public Broadcasting of Latvia. November 26, 2018. Retrieved November 27, 2018.
  9. ^ "President nominates Gobzems for PM". The Baltic Times. LETA. November 27, 2018. Retrieved November 27, 2018.
  10. ^ "Latvia's "President with an Accent:" Raimonds Vejonis". Foreigncy.us. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  11. ^ "Vējonis šorīt nogādāts Gaiļezera slimnīcā". Skaties.lv. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  12. ^ "Prezidenta veselības stāvokli vērtē kā apmierinošu; nozīmēta ārsta uzraudzība". Tvnet.lv. 18 January 2016. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  13. ^ Paparde, Inga (21 January 2016). "Kardioķirurgi glābj prezidentu". NRA. Retrieved 2 February 2016.
  14. ^ "Prezidenta Vējoņa sirds operācija noslēgusies". Lsm.lv. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  15. ^ Cielava, Ieva (26 January 2016). "Kas apdraudēja prezidenta sirdi? (preciz.)". Ir.lv. Retrieved 2 February 2016.
  16. ^ "President Vējonis to leave hospital". Public Broadcasting of Latvia. February 26, 2016. Retrieved April 1, 2016.
  17. ^ "President to resume duties next week". Public Broadcasting of Latvia. March 23, 2016. Retrieved April 1, 2016.
  18. ^ https://www.president.ee/en/estonia/decorations/bearer/19906/raimonds-vejonis/
  19. ^ https://www.president.lv/lv/
  20. ^ https://www.president.lv/lv/
  21. ^ Affairs, Ministry of General (18 May 2018). "State visit to Latvia - program - News item - Royal House of the Netherlands". Royal-house.nl. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  22. ^ "УКАЗ ПРЕЗИДЕНТА УКРАЇНИ №387/2018 Про нагородження Р.Вейоніса орденом князя Ярослава Мудрого". president.gov.ua (in Ukrainian). 2018-11-22.
Political offices
Preceded by
Vladimirs Makarovs
Minister of Environmental Protection and
Regional Development

Succeeded by
Edmunds Sprūdžs
Preceded by
Artis Pabriks
Minister of Defence
Succeeded by
Raimonds Bergmanis
Preceded by
Andris Bērziņš
President of Latvia
2015 Latvian presidential election

Indirect presidential elections were held in Latvia on 3 June 2015. Raimonds Vējonis of the Green Party was elected President and took office on 8 July. According to the European Green Party, he is the first of their members to become a head of state of a European Union member state.

2015 in Latvia

Events in the year 2015 in Latvia.

2019 in Latvia

Events of 2019 in Latvia.

Arturs Krišjānis Kariņš

Arturs Krišjānis Kariņš (born 13 December 1964) is a Latvian linguist, businessman, and politician who has served as Minister of Economics and Member of the European Parliament, and currently serves as the Prime Minister of Latvia. Born in Wilmington, Delaware, United States to parents who had left Latvia during the Soviet occupation, he was active in the American Latvian community throughout his youth.After completing a bachelors degree and Ph.D in linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania, Kariņš moved to Latvia in 1997 and founded a frozen food business. He helped found the New Era Party in 2002, which in 2011 merged with others to form the Unity party and was renamed New Unity in 2018. After serving as a deputy in Saeima, minister of economics, and a member of European parliament throughout the 2000s and 2010s, he was chosen as the prime minister candidate for New Unity in the 2018 Latvian parliamentary election, which became the smallest party elected into the 13th Saeima. Following months of contentious negotiations in which leaders of the larger parties were unable to form a coalition, Kariņš was nominated by President Raimonds Vējonis in January 2019 as a compromise candidate to form a government. He took office on 23 January, 2019, and survived a 58-33 vote of no confidence on 11 April, 2019.

Egils Levits

Egils Levits (born 30 June 1955) is a Latvian lawyer, political scientist and judge. He has been a Member of the European Court of Justice since 2004.During the late Soviet-era he was a member of the Popular Front of Latvia and contributed to the declaration of renewed Latvian independence in 1990. He was Minister for Justice of Latvia from 1993 to 1994 and ambassador to Hungary, Austria and Switzerland from 1994 to 1995. He was then appointed a Judge of the European Court of Human Rights, a position he held until 2004. He finished second in the indirect election for President of Latvia in 2015 behind Raimonds Vējonis. Although an Independent, he was the candidate of the National Alliance. In 2018 Levits was appointed a Judge of the European Court of Justice. He is married and has a daughter and published a book of memoirs in 2019.

First Dombrovskis cabinet

The first Dombrovskis cabinet was the government of Latvia from 12 March 2009 to 3 November 2010. It was the first government to be led by Valdis Dombrovskis, who was Prime Minister from 2009 until 2014. It took office on 12 March 2009, after the resignation of Ivars Godmanis, succeeding the second Godmanis cabinet, which had lasted from 2007 to 2009. It was replaced by the second Dombrovskis cabinet on 3 November 2010, after the October 2010 election.

First Kalvītis cabinet

The first Kalvītis cabinet was the government of Latvia from 2 December 2004 to 7 November 2006. It was the first government to be led by Aigars Kalvītis, who was Prime Minister from 2004 to 2007. It took office on 2 December 2004, after the resignation of Indulis Emsis, succeeding the Emsis cabinet, which had lasted from March to December 2004. It was replaced by the second Kalvītis cabinet on 7 November 2006, after the October 2006 election.

First Straujuma cabinet

The First Straujuma cabinet was the government of Latvia from 22 January to 5 November 2014. It was the first government to be led by Laimdota Straujuma, who has been Prime Minister since 2014. It took office on 22 January 2014, after the resignation of Valdis Dombrovskis.

Jānis Bordāns

Jānis Bordāns (born 21 June, 1967) is a Latvian politician and lawyer, Minister of Justice of the Republic of Latvia from 2012 to 2014 and since January 2019.

Bordāns served as Minister of Justice in Valdis Dombrovskis' cabinet from July 2012 to January 2014, representing the National Alliance party. He later left the National Alliance and founded the New Conservative Party in May 2014, which he has led since then.

On 7th November 2018, after the 6 October parliamentary election, Latvian President Raimonds Vējonis asked Bordāns to form a new coalition government and serve as the next Prime Minister of Latvia. After one week of negotiations, he failed to reach an agreement with his potential coalition partners. In January 2019, he took office for a second term as Minister of Justice in the centre-right coalition cabinet of Arturs Krišjānis Kariņš.

Latvian Green Party

The Latvian Green Party (Latvian: Latvijas Zaļā partija, LZP) is a green political party in Latvia. It was founded on 13 January 1990 and is a member of the European Green Party. Unusually for a green party in Europe, the LZP is generally considered a centre-right party. Leading politicians of the party have often supported reactionary, nationalist, and anti-LGBT positions. The party has only gained representation in the Saeima by forming electoral alliances with other parties.

List of Ministers of Defence of Latvia

The Defence Minister of the Republic of Latvia is the head of the Ministry of Defence, who is charged with the political leadership of the Latvian National Armed Forces. The position was re-established in November 1991 following the declaration of the country's independence from the USSR. Since July 2015, the position has been held by Raimonds Bergmanis.

President of Latvia

The President of Latvia (Latvian: Latvijas Valsts prezidents, literally "State President"), is head of state and commander-in-chief of the National Armed Forces of the Republic of Latvia.

The term of office is four years. Before 1999, it was three years. He or she may be elected any number of times, but not more than twice in a row. In the event of the vacancy in the office of the President, the Speaker of the Saeima assumes the duties of the President. For example, after the death of Jānis Čakste the Speaker of the Saeima, Pauls Kalniņš, was acting president briefly in 1927, before a new President could be elected.

Unlike his Estonian counterpart, the Latvian president's role is not entirely ceremonial. However, he is not as powerful as the President of Lithuania. Unlike in Estonia, he shares executive power with the cabinet and Prime Minister. However, he is not politically responsible for carrying out his duties, and all presidential orders must be countersigned by a member of the cabinet--usually the Prime Minister.

The ninth and current officeholder, and fifth since the restoration of independence, is Raimonds Vējonis who was elected on 8 June 2015 and started his first four-year-term on 8 July 2015.

Raimonds Bergmanis

Raimonds Bergmanis (born 25 July 1966) is a Latvian politician and former Minister of Defence. He is a former Olympic weightlifter and retired strongman competitor.

Repše cabinet

The Repše cabinet was the government of Latvia from 7 November 2002 to 9 March 2004 when the government announced a resignation.

Second Dombrovskis cabinet

The second Dombrovskis cabinet was the government of Latvia from 3 November 2010 to 25 October 2011. It was the second government to be led by Valdis Dombrovskis, who was Prime Minister between 2009 and 2014. It took office on 3 November 2010, after the October 2010 election, succeeding the first Dombrovskis cabinet, which had lasted from 2009 to 2010. It was replaced by the third Dombrovskis cabinet on 25 October 2011, after the September 2011 election.

Second Godmanis cabinet

The second Godmanis cabinet was the government of Latvia from 20 December 2007 to 12 March 2009. It was the second government to be led by Ivars Godmanis, who was also Prime Minister from 1990 to 1993. It took office on 20 December 2007, after the resignation of Ivars Godmanis, succeeding the second Kalvītis cabinet, which had lasted from 2007 to 2009. It was replaced by the second Dombrovskis cabinet on 3 November 2010, after the October 2010 election.

Second Straujuma cabinet

The Second Straujuma cabinet was the government of Latvia from 5 November 2014 to 11 February 2016. It was the second government to be led by Laimdota Straujuma, who was the Prime Minister from 2014 to 2016. It took office after the October 2014 parliamentary election, succeeding the first Straujuma cabinet, which lasted 8 months.

Straujuma resigned on 7 December 2015, which led to immediate discussions on the new government. On 11 February 2016, parliament approved the new government of Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis.

Union of Greens and Farmers

Union of Greens and Farmers (Latvian: Zaļo un Zemnieku savienība, ZZS) is a green conservative, agrarian political alliance in Latvia. It consists of two political parties: the Latvian Farmers' Union (LZS) and the Latvian Green Party (LZP). It is the third largest bloc in the Saeima. The Union of Greens and Farmers also cooperates closely with two regional parties: For Latvia and Ventspils and the Liepāja Party.

Although the ZZS encompasses green politics, usually considered centre-left or left-wing in the context of Western and Central Europe, it may be considered a centrist Nordic agrarian alliance. While the alliance's formal leader is Armands Krauze, its leading figure and chief financial supporter is the oligarch Aivars Lembergs. In 2015 the then leader Raimonds Vējonis became President of Latvia and subsequently resigned his leadership of the alliance.

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