Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 116

The Latvian parliament yesterday reelected President Guntis Ulmanis for another three-year term. Ulmanis received 53 votes in the 100-seat chamber. The runner-up, parliament chairwoman Ilga Kreitusse of the left-of-center Entrepreneurs’ Democratic Party, received 25 votes.

Ulmanis, born in 1935, is a grand nephew of Latvia’s interwar president Karlis Ulmanis. The Ulmanis family, including the current president, was deported to Siberia following the Soviet occupation of Latvia. Ulmanis is a professional economist and is honorary chairman of the Farmers’ Union, which he represented as a deputy in parliament until being elected to his first presidential term in June 1993.

In his first statements upon reelection yesterday, Ulmanis said that his foreign policy priorities in the second presidential term will be relations with the U.S., Western Europe, the EU, and NATO; Baltic cooperation; and improving economic and political relations with Russia irrespective of the outcome of the presidential election there. The domestic priorities will be upgrading the education system and improving inter-ethnic relations. Ulmanis announced his intention to retain the government of Prime Minister Andris Skele in its existing composition. Skele, who had strongly supported Ulmanis for reelection, announced the government’s intention to interrupt the parliament’s vacation, which begins today, in order to submit pressing legislation. (BNS, June 18)

Belarus-Russia Joint Body Maps "Integration."