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Thursday, 05.12.2013, 05:26
Andris Berzins – newly elected president of Latvia
The other candidate – the current President Valdis Zatlers received support from 41 deputies, whilst 56 voted against him, informs LETA.
Three deputies voted against both candidates.
99 Saeima members participated in the vote, submitting 97 valid ballots.
Andris Berzins was born in the Vidzeme Province town of Nitaure in 1944. He graduated from Riga Politechnical institute in 1971 with a degree in radio engineering. Berzins also has a degree from the University of Latvia's Economy faculty.
Berzins had a successful career at the company "Elektrons", where he started to work in 1970 as an engineer and eventually was appointed the company's director. In 1988 Berzins was appointed deputy minister for public services
In 1990, Berzins was elected to the Supreme Council where he was a member of the Popular Front group. He is one of the Supreme Council's members who voted for the Declaration On the Restoration of Independence of the Republic of Latvia on May 4, 1990.
In 1993, Berzins was appointed president of Latvijas Unibanka, and held the post until January 2004. From December 2006 to April 2009, Berzins was acting chairman of the Latvenergo council.
Berzins attempted to return to politics in 2005 when he participated in Riga City Council elections as the leader of the Union of Greens and Farmers' ticket, although he was not a member of the union. In the fall of 2011, Berzins was elected to the 10th Saeima.
Berzins is a wealthy man, the value of his properties and assets makes him a millionaire. According to his declaration of income in the State Revenue Service's public database, in 2006 Berzins owned 30 land plots in various counties of Latvia. In 2007, Berzins sold his shares in the company Lode for LVL 4,535,635. Taking office as a Saeima member in 2010, Berzins declared to have issued loans worth more than LVL 1,000,000, and to own more than 30 properties in various regions of Latvia.