European Leaders Congratulate Siliņa on Her New Role as Latvia’s Prime Minister

Evika Siliņa, a member of Latvia’s center-right New Unity party, has assumed the role of the country’s new Prime Minister. The Latvian parliament voted 53-39 in favor of approving the new government, following the unexpected resignation of former Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš last month.

The newly formed government, which will have control over 52 out of the 100 parliamentary seats, is a three-party coalition comprised of Siliņa’s New Unity (JV) party, the Greens and Farmers Union (ZZS), and the social-democratic Progressives (PRO). Notably, outgoing Prime Minister Kariņš will continue to serve in the government, taking on the role of Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Shortly after receiving the vote of confidence, Siliņa expressed her optimism, stating, “I believe in Latvia and the potential of our people. Thank you to the Saeima for showing trust in the Cabinet of Ministers led by me! Time for concrete work!”

Kariņš’ New Unity party emerged victorious in the October 2022 elections and initially formed a coalition with the conservative National Alliance and the United List, securing 54 parliamentary seats. However, this coalition collapsed in less than a year.

In August, Kariņš stepped down as Prime Minister, citing the breakdown of his government due to a planned Cabinet reshuffle and efforts to expand the coalition. Following his resignation, Siliņa, a member of Kariņš’ party and a former lawyer and welfare minister, was selected as the new Prime Minister. She is the second woman to hold this position in Latvia, following Laimdota Straujuma’s tenure from 2014 to 2016.

Kariņš extended his congratulations to Siliņa, emphasizing the need for Latvia to continue its development trajectory, aiming for greater strength, prosperity, and global visibility. He expressed confidence that under Siliņa’s leadership, Latvia would achieve these goals.

Well-wishes poured in from across Europe, with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen expressing her eagerness to collaborate with Siliņa for the benefit of Latvia and Europe. Ukraine’s Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal also congratulated Siliņa and expressed his anticipation of continued cooperation to counter the Russian threat and expand the partnership between Ukraine and Latvia.

Also read: Outgoing Singapore President Extends Best Wishes to Incoming Indian-Origin President-elect, Tharman Shanmugaratnam

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