Thursday 11th of February, 2016 Saeima with 60 votes to 32 approved Mr. Māris Kučinskis as Prime Minister, along with his proposed cabinet.

Māris Kučinskis (54), who has been a member of various political parties during his career, will be Latvia’s thirteenth Prime Minister since the restoration of independence in 1991. He is currently a member of Greens and Farmers Alliance and is succeeding Mrs. Laimdota Straujuma (Unity party), who resigned last year after serving almost two years and leading through the first Latvian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

The coalition will remain unchanged and will consist of Greens and Farmers, Unity and the National Alliance. The reshuffled cabinet will see five major changes. Mrs. Dana Reizniece-Ozola (Greens) will take over the Ministry of Finance after serving as the Minister of Economics. Mr. Uldis Augulis (Greens), who has been most recently Minister of Welfare, will take over the Ministry of Transport. Mr. Kārlis Šadurskis (Unity) will return to the Ministry of Education, where he already served from 2002-2004. The new Minister of Welfare will be Mr. Jānis Reirs (Unity), while Mr. Arvils Ašeradens (Unity) will serve as Minister of Economics and will also carry out the role of Deputy Prime Minister. 

Rest of the cabinet remains the same: Defense Minister Mr. Raimonds Bergmanis (Greens), Agriculture Minister Mr. Jānis Dūklavs (Greens), Health Minister Mr. Guntis Belēvičs (Greens), Foreign Minister Mr. Edgars Rinkēvičs (Unity), Interior Minister Mr. Rihards Kozlovskis (Unity), Culture Minister Mrs. Dace Melbārde (National Alliance), Justice Minister Mr. Dzintars Rasnačs (National Alliance), and Minister for Environment and Regional Development Mr. Kaspars Gerhards (National Alliance).

photo by State Chancellery
Latvian Institute, 11.02.2016, Politics