Sociologist: Egils Levits’ international experience will help outline Latvia’s future

The international experience of Latvia’s newly-elected president Egils Levits will help outline the country’s future, says sociologist Aigars Freimanis.

He says from the very beginning Levits has proved himself as a competent and talented presidential candidate. Even in debates Levits was more successful than other candidates, Freimanis says. However, no matter how much Levits knows about the Constitution and legislative affairs, his lack of experience means he «floats» in internal policy affairs, comments the sociologist.

Freimanis notes that Levits’ image and visibility were ensured by the people around him – Saeima deputies, politicians and well-known people. «With his first speech as president, Levits presented himself to Latvia’s population,» says Freimanis.

He adds that Levits main challenge will be forming ties with Latvia’s nation. «This is not a criticism, but it is clear that for a person who has spent a great deal of time abroad it may be rather difficult to communicate with people in Latvia. I am convinced that thanks to his experience will help him form ties with residents,» says Freimanis.

As it is known, in the first open presidential elections in the history of the Republic of Latvia, Egils Levits was elected as the country’s next president.

32 Saeima deputies voted against Levits. Eight deputies voted in favour of Juris Jansons and 85 voted against him. Didzis Šmits received 24 votes in favour and 69 votes against.

Two voting signs – held by Union of Greens and Farmers members Māris Kučinskis and Anda Čakša – were declared invalid.

In 1982 Levits graduated from the Faculty of Law of the University of Hamburg. Three years later he also graduated from the university’s Faculty of Social Sciences and Philosophy.

In the past Levits also served as Latvia’s ambassador to Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Hungary. He was also a deputy in the 5th Saeima, as well as Latvia’s Justice Minister. Levits was later elected as Latvia’s representative to European Human Rights Court and a short while later Levits became a judge of European Union Court of Justice.

Egils Levits is also the co-author of Latvia’s 4 May, 1991, Declaration for Independence and had participated in the development of the preamble to the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia.

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