Raimonds Vējonis elected President of Latvia


Defence Minister Raimonds Vējonis of the Union of Greens and Farmers (ZZS) was elected the new President of Latvia yesterday by the country’s parliament.

It took five votes in parliament before Vējonis received 55 of the potential 101 votes with 44 voting against, one spoilt ballot paper and one member who did not participate.

Vējonis will replace incumbent President Andris Bērziņš whose term in office ends on 7th July.

Raimonds Vējonis, 48, graduated from the Faculty of Biology, the University of Latvia in 1989 and obtained his Master’s degree in Biology in 1995. He also studied at the Tallinn Technical University (Estonia), Department of Environmental Engineering in 1994 and between 1993 and 1994 was at Tampere University of Technology (Finland), Institute of Water and Environmental Engineering, Speciality of Water and Environment Management.

Between 1987 and 1989 he was a biology teacher and from 1989 to 1996 he was Deputy Director of Madona Regional Environmental Board. Vējonis was a Deputy on the Madona City Council between 1990 and 1993 and then a Board member of a number of institutions involved in the environment.

From 2002 to 2010 he was Minister of the Environment and between January and October 2011 Vējonis was Minister of the Environment and Regional Development. In January 2014 he was made Minister of Defence until his election as President yesterday.

Raimonds Vējonis speaks Russian and English as well as his native Latvian. He is married with two children.

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