Latvian lawmakers to vote on next president on June 3

AP News
Posted: May 15, 2015 6:48 AM

TALLINN, Estonia (AP) — Latvian lawmakers are to elect a new head of state on June 3 to find a successor to President Andris Berzins who will not seek re-election for a second four-year term.

Parliament spokeswoman Lelde Rafelde said Friday that parties can officially propose candidates from May 19-24, and lawmakers will elect the president in a secret ballot, according to the country's constitution. A candidate needs at least 51 votes in the 100-seat Saeima, or parliament, to become Latvia's next head of state.

Latvia's ruling three-party coalition is divided over who should become the next president, a mostly ceremonial post. Some suggest Defense Minister Raimonds Vejonis, others want Egils Levits, a judge with the European Court of Justice, according to the BNS news agency.

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Berzins, 70, has held the job since 2011.