Edgars Rinkēvičs makes history as he’s elected President of Latvia

Edgars Rinkēvičs has been elected as Latvia’s President, making him the first gay head of state of a country in the European Union. 

He’s no stranger to making political firsts, in 2014 he became the first Latvian member of parliament to share they that they are gay.

On 31st May he was successful in his bid to become the next President of Latvia. He will serve a four-year term after he received 52 votes, one more than he required to win, in a vote amongst his parliamentary colleagues.

Latvia’s Presidency is largely ceremonial and the head of state acts as an opinion leader and uniting figure. They represent the country on the world stage, act as the supreme commander of the armed forces, and sign bills into law.

Nearly one-third of Latvian’s speak Russian and many also have Russian citizenship. Rinkēvičs has been a strong supporter of Ukraine’s independence and taking a hard stance against Russian influence. 

Rinkēvičs will be inaugurated on 8th July. 

While he’s the first openly gay head of a Baltic state and European Union member country, he’s not Europe’s first gay of state. That honour went to Paolo Rondeli who became San Marino’s Captain Regent on 1st April 2022. He concluded his short term on 1st October the same year, as San Marino changes it head of state every six months.

OIP Staff

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