Valdis is a Latvian politician. He was born in Riga. He was first elected to the Latvian parliament in 1990 and helped to found the Latvian Way party. After Latvian Way won the 1993 parliamentary elections, Birkavs became the prime minister, leading a coalition government of Latvian Way and Latvian Farmers’ Union. He resigned after Farmer’s Union left the government in the summer of 1994. He then became the deputy prime minister and foreign minister in the next government. He remained the foreign minister for five years under four different prime ministers, eventually resigning in 1999. In the presidential elections of 1999 (Latvia’s president is chosen by the Parliament) he was nominated as a candidate and received second place. He was then appointed as minister of justice, and served in that position until 2000.
Birkavs is a member of the Club of Madrid, an independent non-profit organization composed of 81 democratic former Presidents and Prime Ministers from 57 different countries.
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