Raimonds Vējonis

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Raimonds Vējonis
Flickr - Saeima - 10.Saeimas deputāts Raimonds Vējonis.jpg
9th President of Latvia
Assumed office
8 July 2015
Prime MinisterLaimdota Straujuma
Māris Kučinskis
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
Born (1966-06-15) 15 June 1966 (age 52)
Nikonovo, Pskov Oblast, Soviet Union (now Russia)
Political partyGreen Party
Spouse(s)Iveta Vējone
Alma materUniversity of Latvia

Raimonds Vējonis (Rájmonds Véjonis; born 15 June 1966) is the current President of Latvia, 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]

Early life and career[edit]

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[edit]

Vējonis became Minister of Environmental Protection and Regional Development on 7 November 2002.[citation needed]

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]

Personal life[edit]

Vējonis speaks fluent Russian[6] and English in addition to Latvian, and is married and has two children.[3] He is a Baltic pagan.[3][5]

Health problems[edit]

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.[7][8] 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.[9][10] 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.[11]

Vējonis left hospital on 26 February to undergo physical therapy at National Rehabilitation Center "Vaivari".[12] 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.[13]

Honours[edit]

National Honours
Foreign Honours

Links[edit]

References[edit]

  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" (in Latvian). LSM. 3 June 2015. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
  5. ^ a b Collier, Mike (3 June 2015). "Latvia provides EU"s first "green' president - Raimonds Vējonis". LSM.
  6. ^ https://foreigncy.us/set/latvias-president-accent-raimonds-vejonis/
  7. ^ http://skaties.lv/latvija/vejonis-sorit-nogadats-gailezera-slimnica/
  8. ^ http://www.tvnet.lv/zinas/latvija/592395-prezidenta_veselibas_stavokli_verte_ka_apmierinosu_nozimeta_arsta_uzraudziba
  9. ^ Paparde, Inga (21 January 2016). "Kardioķirurgi glābj prezidentu". NRA. Retrieved 2 February 2016.
  10. ^ http://www.lsm.lv/lv/raksts/latvija/zinas/prezidenta-vejona-sirds-operacija-noslegusies.a165035/
  11. ^ Cielava, Ieva (26 January 2016). "Kas apdraudēja prezidenta sirdi? (preciz.)". IR.lv. Retrieved 2 February 2016.
  12. ^ "Vējonis izrakstīts no slimnīcas" (in Latvian). apollo.lv. 26 February 2016. Retrieved 1 April 2016.
  13. ^ Libeka, Māra (30 March 2016). "Prezidents atgriežas ierindā" (in Latvian). la.lv. Retrieved 1 April 2016.
  14. ^ Royal House
Political offices
Preceded by
Vladimirs Makarovs
Minister of Environmental Protection and
Regional Development

2002–2011
Succeeded by
Edmunds Sprūdžs
Preceded by
Artis Pabriks
Minister of Defence
2014–2015
Succeeded by
Raimonds Bergmanis
Preceded by
Andris Bērziņš
President of Latvia
2015–present
Incumbent