In Latvia Today, 12:2912 Photo Levits hands Rinkēvičs the keys to Riga Castle

By RockedBuzz 6 Min Read

Today, the former “owner” of Riga Castle, Egils Levits, symbolically handed over the keys of Riga Castle to the new President Edgars Rinkevičas.

Levits hands Rinkēvičs the keys to Riga Castle
Levits hands Rinkēvičs the keys to Riga Castle Photo: Jānis Škapars/TVNET

Today, the former “owner” of Riga Castle, Egils Levits, symbolically handed over the keys of Riga Castle to the new President Edgars Rinkevičas.

Levits and his spouse Andras Levits met Rinkeviča in the square of the Riga Palace, and then went to the gates of the palace, TVNET observed. Soldiers of the National Armed Forces participated in the event, with the military orchestra performing the Latvian national anthem and musical accompaniment.

Photo: The President receives the key to Riga Castle in a symbolic ceremony

About 100 residents and city guests watched the event.

On Saturday, Rinkēvičs, who was elected as the President, made the solemn promise in the Saeima, becoming the seventh President since the restoration of Latvia’s independence.

Following the promise, the Speaker of the Saeima, Edvards Smiltēns, presented the President with the highest state awards, which he received in accordance with the Law on State Awards, in a solemn ceremony. The law stipulates that upon taking office, the President acquires the right to the highest class of each order – the Order of the Three Stars, the Order of the Viestura and the Cross of Merit – as well as the chain of the Order of the Three Stars.

Photo: The new President Edgars Rinkēvičs places flowers at the Freedom Monument

Later, Rinkēvičs laid flowers at the Freedom Monument, where around 300 people had gathered, but the new president did not engage in negotiations with them. Residents who attended the laying of flowers at the Freedom Monument wished the new president endurance and the love of the nation. Those present expressed that, in their opinion, Rinkevich was the “most suitable candidate” for the position of president. Those gathered invited Rinkevič to continue the work started by the current president Egil Levitt.

In the afternoon, a ceremonial reception will be held in the Rīga Palace in honor of Rinkēvič’s inauguration.

According to the information in the archive of the LETA agency, Rinkēvičs was born in 1973 in Jurmala. He graduated from the Faculty of History and Philosophy of the University of Latvia (LU), received a certificate for studying political sciences and international relations at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. He also holds two master’s degrees, both from LU Political Science and from the US National Defense University’s National Resource Strategy Industrial College.

Photo: State President Edgars Rinkēvičs receives the country’s highest awards

In the 90s of the last century, Rinkēvičs worked as a journalist for Latvian Radio on foreign policy and international relations issues, then he started his career in various positions in the Ministry of Defense (MoD), where he held the position of the highest official – State Secretary of the MoD – for more than ten years from 1997.

From 2002 to 2003, Rinkēvičs was the deputy head of the Latvian delegation in negotiations on joining NATO, and from 2005 to January 2007, he held the position of head of the office of the organization of the meeting of NATO countries and governments. On the other hand, from October 2008 to July 2011, Rinkēvičs was the head of the office of the then President Valdas Zatlers.

When Zatler was not re-elected for the second term of the presidency and when he got involved in politics, Rinkevič also got involved, and in 2011 he became the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the government led by Valdas Dombrovskis (V), while at the beginning of 2012 he joined the Reform Party led by former president Zatler.

Rinkēvičs also retained the position of Minister of Foreign Affairs in the governments of Laimdota Straujumas (V), Māras Kučinskas and both governments of Kariņas.

In the spring of 2014, Rinkēvičs joined the party “Vienotība”. In the 14th Saeima elections of 2022, Rinkēvičs was elected to the parliament from the list of the “New Unity” party association.

On May 31, 2023, the Saeima elected Rinkevičas as the President of the State. 52 MPs voted for his election – “New Unity”, which nominated him for the high office, and the opposition parties Green and Peasants’ Union and “Progressives”. The presidential election caused tension in the ruling coalition, which may lead to changes in it, as the previous partners “United List” and the National Union did not vote for Rinkēvičs.

Rinkēvičs replaces Egilas Levitas in the position of President, who was elected to this position by the Saeima on May 28, 2019. 61 MPs voted for Levits at that time, but he did not have enough votes in the Saeima to be re-elected for a second term, so Levits chose not to run.

FacebookLinkedInFor friendsTwitter


Share This Article
Leave a comment