Krisjanis Karins has been the prime minister of Latvia since early 2019. In recent weeks, he has also been serving as an acting foreign minister. The previous foreign minister, Edgars Rinkevics, is now the country's president.

Just a few months ago, Latvia held its most recent election for members of the Saeima, the country's parliament. Karins led his political party and his coalition to victory in that election. But now, relations among coalition member parties have soured. And a new prime minister is evidently in the works.

Karins says he is stepping down

Krisjanis Karins said he will resign. He announced via social media on August 14, 2023. The resignation will apparently take effect on August 17.

The reasoning behind the move stems from substantial disagreement within the governing coalition. Karins is the leader of the centre-right Jauna Vienotiba (New Unity). Colloquially referred to as a political party, it's technically an alliance of several. It has been in a coalition with two more parties. The centrist Apvienotais saraksts (United List) and the far-right Nacionala apvieniba (National Alliance).

Cabinet positions have been dispersed among members of the three parties. Recently, New Unity apparently wanted to re-organize the government's priorities, including a Cabinet reshuffle.

United List and National Alliance it seems, were not happy with the proposed new Cabinet.

Attempts to negotiate other Cabinet formations were made but were unsuccessful. For his part, Karins made his displeasure with his colleagues known. The two partnering parties had been "blocking work for welfare and economic growth."

Karins was first elected to the Saeima in 2002.

Two years later, he was appointed minister for economics by Tautas partija (People's Party) Prime Minister Aigars Kalvitis. In 2009, he was also elected to the European Parliament for the first time.

In the 2018 election, New Unity finished in seventh place. However, coalition negotiations among parties that finished ahead of them failed in a spectacular fashion.

It eventually fell to Karins to try to form a government, which he was able to do.

Was born in the United States

Krisjanis Karins is a native of Wilmington, Delaware. His parents had fled Latvia as children following the 1944 occupation of the country by the Soviet Union. They met and eventually married in Sweden before settling in the United States.

Karins was educated in both the United States and Latvia, as well as briefly in Russia. In the U.S., he attended St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland, followed by the University of Pennsylvania. Among his schoolteachers in Latvia was future President Egils Levits. Karins became a full-time resident of Latvia in his 30s.