President of Latvia

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President of the Republic of Latvia
Latvijas Valsts prezidents
Presidential Flag of Latvia.svg
Presidential Standard
Flickr - Saeima - 10.Saeimas deputāts Raimonds Vējonis.jpg
Raimonds Vējonis

since 8 July 2015
Residence Riga Castle
Appointer Saeima
Term length Four years
renewable once, consecutively
Inaugural holder Jānis Čakste
14 November 1922
Formation Constitution of Latvia
Salary 55,000 Ls[1]
Website Latvijas Valsts prezidenta mājas lapa
Coat of arms of Latvia.svg
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The President of Latvia is head of state and commander-in-chief of the armed forces of the Republic of Latvia.

The term of office is four years. Before 1997, it was three years. He or she may be elected any number of times, but not more than twice in a row.[2] 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, Paul Kalnins, 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.


The five most recent presidents of Latvia in 2015

      DC       LSDSP       LZS       LTF       LC       ZZS       None

  Acting President
Name Portrait Term of office Political party
1 Jānis Čakste[n 1] Janis Cakste.jpg 17 December 1918 14 November 1922 Democratic Centre
14 November 1922 14 March 1927
Pauls Kalniņš[n 2] 14 March 1927 8 April 1927 Latvian Social Democratic Workers' Party
2 Gustavs Zemgals Zemgals.jpg 8 April 1927 4 September 1930 Democratic Centre
3 Alberts Kviesis Kviesis.jpg 4 September 1930 15 May 1934 Latvian Farmers' Union
(3) 16 May 1934 4 November 1936 Independent
4 Kārlis Ulmanis[n 3] Karlis Ulmanis.jpg 4 November 1936 21 July 1940 Independent
Position vacant (21 July 1940 – 8 July 1993)
Anatolijs Gorbunovs[n 4] Anatolijs Gorbunovs 2012-11-07 (1).jpg 21 August 1991 13 February 1993 Popular Front of Latvia
(—) 13 February 1993 8 July 1993 Latvian Way
5 Guntis Ulmanis Guntis Ulmanis 1998.jpg 8 July 1993 8 July 1999 Latvian Farmers' Union
6 Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga Vaira Vike-Freiberga-13062007.jpg 8 July 1999 8 July 2007 Independent
7 Valdis Zatlers Zatlers.jpg 8 July 2007 8 July 2011 Independent
8 Andris Bērziņš Flickr - Saeima - 10.Saeimas deputāts Andris Bērziņš (ievēlēts no Vidzemes apgabala).jpg 8 July 2011 8 July 2015 Union of Greens and Farmers [n 5]
9 Raimonds Vējonis Flickr - Saeima - 10.Saeimas deputāts Raimonds Vējonis.jpg 8 July 2015 Incumbent Latvian Green Party

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Upon Latvian independence on 17 December 1918, Jānis Čakste was head of state as Chairman of Tautas padome (1918–20) and Speaker of the Constitutional Assembly (1920–22), until he was elected President by the first Saeima on 14 November 1922.
  2. ^ Upon Čakste's death, Speaker of the Saeima Pauls Kalniņš was acting president from 14 March 1927 to 8 April 1927.
  3. ^ Upon the expiration of Kviesis's term, Prime minister Kārlis Ulmanis merged the Presidency and the Premiership, holding both offices himself. After the Soviet occupation Prime Minister Augusts Kirhenšteins was the illegitimate Acting President from 21 July to 25 August 1940
  4. ^ After the restoration of Latvian independence, speaker of the Latvian parliament Anatolijs Gorbunovs was acting president from 21 August 1991 to 8 July 1993.
  5. ^ Bērziņš is not a member of parties forming the Union of Greens and Farmers, however he ran for the Saeima from their list and was a member of their parliamentary group at the time of his election.