Evika Siliņa, a member of the center-right New Unity party, is the new prime minister of Latvia.
The country’s parliament voted 53-39 on Friday to approve the new government led by Siliņa, following the surprise resignation of former Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš last month.
The new government, which will control 52 of 100 seats in the parliament, will be made up of a three-party coalition between Siliņa’s New Unity (JV) party, the Greens and Farmers Union (ZZS), and the social-democratic Progressives (PRO).
Outgoing prime minister Kariņš will remain in government and take on the role of minister of foreign affairs.
“I believe in Latvia and the potential of our people,” Siliņa said on X (formerly Twitter) shortly after receiving the vote of confidence. “Thank you to the Saeima for showing trust in the Cabinet of Ministers led by me! Time for concrete works!”
Kariņš’ New Unity party won the elections in October 2022 and formed a coalition with the conservative National Alliance and the United List, controlling 54 seats in the parliament. The coalition was in power for less than a year before collapsing.
In August, Kariņš resigned as prime minister after his government fell apart over a planned Cabinet reshuffle and attempts to broaden the coalition.
Shortly after, Siliņa, a member of Kariņš’ party, was tapped for the role of prime minister. A former lawyer and welfare minister, Siliņa is the second woman to become prime minister of Latvia, following Laimdota Straujuma in 2014-2016.
Kariņš congratulated Siliņa on Friday.
“Latvia must continue its development path, becoming stronger, wealthier and more visible in the world — I am sure that under the leadership of [Evika Siliņa] we will succeed,” Kariņš said.
Congratulations poured in from around Europe. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said she looked forward to working with Silina, “for Latvia and for Europe.”
Ukraine’s Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal also congratulated Siliņa on her new role, saying he looks forward to “our continued cooperation to achieve a decisive victory over the [Russian] aggressor” and expand partnerships between Ukraine and Latvia.