Latvia is scheduled to hold at least the first round of its Presidential election at the end of this month. Presidents of Latvia are elected by members of the Saeima, the country's parliament. If no candidate scores an absolute majority of votes from Saeima deputies, a second round would be held.

Egils Levits is the current Latvian president. He is not currently a member of any political party. Though in previous years, he was a member of the Latvijas Cels ("Latvian Way") party. But he would be largely supported by a major coalition of centrist and right-of-center political parties.

However, this time the coalition was more fractured, which has evidently played a role in Levits changing his career plans.

Drops re-election bid, calls for unity

The Baltic Times and Baltic News Network report that Egils Levits is not running for another term. It marks a course reversal for Levits and his team. Last month, he had declared that he was a candidate for re-election.

Levits received the endorsement of Jauna Vienotiba ("New Unity") and Nacionala apvieniba ("National Alliance"). Both are members of the aforementioned essential coalition. But a third member – Apvienotais saraksts ("United List") – broke another way, instead throwing its support behind its founder, Uldis Pilens.

The sitting president has withdrawn his candidacy in the hopes of it leading to unity and consolidation.

Furthermore, he has called upon Pilens to do the same.

The alliance split between Levits and Pilens is a pro-western one. Promoting ties between Latvia and other western entities, including the United States and NATO. And it has been an active supporter of Ukraine following its being invaded by Russia.

An obvious concern is that if the pro-western bloc is splintered, Russian sympathizers could split the difference.

With his announcement, Levits stated his concerns about such a thing. Saying that pro-Kremlin individuals could play a "decisive" role in the Presidential election. The president also said that such a thing would send the wrong signal to Latvia's citizens and allies and to Moscow. He also called the current state of affairs a "fragile security situation."

Is a former European Union judge

Egils Levits is a native of Riga, born when Latvia was still part of the Soviet Union.

His family later moved to West Germany after his parents were expelled from the USSR for being dissidents. They eventually returned to Latvia after it became independent.

Levits was elected to the Saeima in 1993. He was quickly named the vice-prime minister and the minister of justice. He would leave all three roles behind the following year. But in 1995, he was chosen as a representative for Latvia to the European Court of Human Rights.

From 2004 to 2019, Levits was a judge with the European Court of Justice, the European Union's supreme court. It was in 2019 that he was elected president after having been a candidate in 2011 and 2015.