President of Latvia

Last updated
President of the Republic of Latvia
Latvijas Valsts prezidents
Flag of the President of Latvia.svg
Presidential Standard
Egils Levits.jpg
Egils Levits

since 8 July 2019
Residence Riga Castle
Appointer Saeima
Term length Four years
renewable once, consecutively
Inaugural holder Jānis Čakste
14 November 1922
Formation Constitution of Latvia
Salary~ 54,732 annually [1]

The president of Latvia (Latvian : Latvijas Valsts prezidents, literally "State President") is head of state and commander-in-chief of the National Armed Forces of the Republic of Latvia.


The term of office is four years. Before 1999, it was three years. He or she may be elected any number of times, but not more than twice in a row. [2] In the event of the vacancy in the office of the president, the speaker of the Saeima assumes the duties of the president. For example, after the death of Jānis Čakste the speaker of the Saeima, Pauls Kalniņš, was acting president briefly in 1927, before a new president could be elected.

Unlike his Estonian counterpart, the Latvian president's role is not entirely ceremonial. However, he is not as powerful as the president of Lithuania. Unlike in Estonia, he shares executive power with the cabinet and prime minister. However, he is not politically responsible for carrying out his duties, and all presidential orders must be countersigned by a member of the cabinet – usually the prime minister.

The tenth and current officeholder, and sixth since the restoration of independence, is Egils Levits, who was elected on 28 May 2019 and began his first four-year term on 8 July 2019.



   DC    LSDSP    LZS    LTF    LC    ZZS    LZP    None

  Acting President
PortraitTerm of officePolitical party
1 Jānis Čakste
(1859–1927) [n 1]
Janis Cakste.jpg 17 December 191814 November 1922 Democratic Centre
14 November 192214 March 1927
Pauls Kalniņš
(1872–1945) [n 2]
Pauls Kalnins.jpg 14 March 19278 April 1927 Latvian Social Democratic Workers' Party [3]
2 Gustavs Zemgals
Zemgals.jpg 8 April 19274 September 1930 Democratic Centre
3 Alberts Kviesis
Kviesis.jpg 4 September 193015 May 1934 Latvian Farmers' Union
(3)16 May 193410 April 1936 Independent
4 Kārlis Ulmanis
(1877–1942) [n 3]
Karlis Ulmanis.jpg 11 April 193621 July 1940 Independent
Position vacant (21 July 1940 – 8 July 1993)
Anatolijs Gorbunovs
(born 1942) [n 4]
Anatolijs Gorbunovs 2015-05-04.jpg 21 August 199113 February 1993 Popular Front of Latvia
(—)13 February 19938 July 1993 Latvian Way
5 Guntis Ulmanis
(born 1939)
Flickr - Saeima - 10.Saeimas deputats Guntis Ulmanis.jpg 8 July 19938 July 1999 Latvian Farmers' Union
6 Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga
(born 1937)
Vaira Vike-Freiberga-13062007.jpg 8 July 19998 July 2007 Independent
7 Valdis Zatlers
(born 1955)
Valdis Zatlers in 2011.jpg 8 July 20078 July 2011 Independent
8 Andris Bērziņš
(born 1944)
Flickr - Saeima - 10.Saeimas deputats Andris Berzins (ievelets no Vidzemes apgabala).jpg 8 July 20118 July 2015 Union of Greens and Farmers [n 5]
9 Raimonds Vējonis
(born 1966)
Flickr - Saeima - 10.Saeimas deputats Raimonds Vejonis.jpg 8 July 20158 July 2019 Latvian Green Party
10 Egils Levits
(born 1955)
Egils Levits.jpg 8 July 2019Incumbent
(Term ends on 8 July 2023)

Living former presidents

There are six living former Latvian presidents:

See also

The five most recent presidents of Latvia in 2015 Valsts prezidenta inauguracijas pasakumi Saeima (18897619473).jpg
The five most recent presidents of Latvia in 2015
Coat of Arms of Latvia.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Foreign relations


  1. Upon Latvian independence on 17 December 1918, Jānis Čakste was head of state as Chairman of Tautas padome (1918–20) and Speaker of the Constitutional Assembly (1920–22), until he was elected President by the first Saeima on 14 November 1922.
  2. Upon Čakste's death, Speaker of the Saeima Pauls Kalniņš was acting president from 14 March 1927 to 8 April 1927.
  3. Upon the expiration of Kviesis's term, Prime minister Kārlis Ulmanis illegally merged the Presidency and the Premiership, holding both offices himself. After the Soviet occupation Prime Minister Augusts Kirhenšteins was the illegitimate Acting President from 21 July to 25 August 1940
  4. After the restoration of Latvian independence, speaker of the Latvian parliament Anatolijs Gorbunovs was acting president from 21 August 1991 to 8 July 1993.
  5. Bērziņš is not a member of parties forming the Union of Greens and Farmers, however he ran for the Saeima from their list and was a member of their parliamentary group at the time of his election.

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  1. "Informācija par amatpersonu (darbinieku) darba samaksas apmēru sadalījumā pa amatu grupām". 28 January 2017. Archived from the original on 16 November 2017. Retrieved 29 January 2017.(in Latvian)
  2. "President of Latvia by Baltic Legal; Part of Constitution - The president". Baltic Legal . Retrieved 2013-03-14.
  3. Šiliņš, Jānis (30 May 2018). "Things to know about the split among the early Latvian leftists". Public Broadcasting of Latvia . Retrieved 2 June 2018.