Latvia: Daiga Mierina elected new parliamentary speaker

The Latvian parliament, the Saeima, has elected MP Daiga Mierina of the Union of Greens and Farmers (ZZS) as its new speaker, LSM reports. She replaces United List’s Edvards Smiltens. Mierina was only elected at the fourth ballot after the two front-runners for the post, Gunars Kutris of ZZS and United List’s Maris Sprindzuks, were rejected. Mierina was first elected to parliament in 2022. Prior to her appointment as speaker, she served as head of the Saeima’s state administration and local government committee. In September 2022, Mierina defended former Ventspils mayor Aivars Lembergs, who is serving prison time for corruption and is under US sanctions. She even suggested that Lembergs was a suitable candidate for prime minister.