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President supports Braze as foreign minister

Latvian President Edgars Rinkevics supports the nomination of diplomat Baiba Braze for the post of foreign minister.

Rinkevics told journalists on Wednesday after a meeting with Prime Minister Evika Silina (New Unity) that he knows the candidate for the post of foreign minister well enough from the time when he held the post of minister and even before that, so he does not plan to meet with Braze before the vote in the Saeima.

“I consider Braze’s candidacy suitable. If the Saeima expresses confidence in Braze on Friday, we will meet in the near future to talk about concrete actions. The decision is in the hands of the Saeima. In general, I support this nomination,” said the president.

Asked whether the president sees a potential problem in the fact that Braze does not belong to any political force for the time being, Rinkevics stressed that according to the Constitution, the Cabinet of Ministers is formed by the prime minister. The Constitution does not stipulate that a candidate must belong to a political party.

“We always have a lot of discussions about the fact that ministers must also get some support from the electorate in the parliamentary elections, or in some other elections. I leave it to the prime minister to decide how to form her Cabinet,” the president said.

“If the Saeima supports Braze, I wish her success in her work. We will have close cooperation on many issues, as is usually the case between the president, the prime minister, the foreign and defense ministers. It is up to the candidate to decide how to shape his or her political or professional career, according to his or her own ideas,” the president said.

Siliņa pointed out that this week’s good news is selection of a strong candidate for the post of the foreign minister. She stressed that so far she had not heard that Braze’s professionalism would be questioned. The prime minister expects a positive vote in the Saeima so that Braze can take up her post and start working actively next week.

As reported, the Saeima Presidium has called an emergency Saeima sitting for the morning of April 19 to vote on diplomat Baiba Braze’s candidacy for foreign minister.

After several weeks of consultations within her New Unity party, Silina on Monday nominated diplomat Baiba Braze for the post of the foreign minister. The candidate has yet to be approved by the Saeima.

Ambassador Braze has held various positions in the foreign service, including ambassador of Latvia to several countries. Before becoming the ambassador of special assignments in the summer of 2023, she served as NATO Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy since May 2020.

Braze was unofficially mentioned as the most likely candidate for this post immediately after the resignation of Krisjanis Karins (New Unity) from the position of the foreign minister.

Coalition partners have already expressed their support in principle for Braze’s candidacy, and she will meet with the Saeima groups of political parties on April 17.

Braze is currently non-partisan, but Unity has invited her to join the party.

Source: BNS

(Reproduction of BNS information in mass media and other websites without written consent of BNS is prohibited.)

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