For Vīķe-Freiberga, the final countdown

With just four days to go in her presidency, Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga will be spending her time working with documents, meeting various officials and journalists, receiving awards and addressing the Latvian nation, according to her calendar released by the president’s press office.

The president’s second four-year term of office ends the night of July 7. On July 8, she will be replaced by Valdis Zatlers, who was elected in May as the next president of Latvia.

The president’s plans for July 4 include attending the unveiling of a memorial to Žanis Lipke, a dock worker who during World War II was responsible for saving at least 40 Jews from German forces in Rīga. Lipke, who died in 1987, is among those honored by the Israeli government with the title Righteous Among the Nations.

July 5 will see interviews with the mass media and work with documents. Similarly, on July 6 the president is scheduled to deal with paperwork.

Her last day in office, July 7, the president will vote in the national referendum at the Majori culture hall in Jūrmala. She then will present a letter of accreditation to Andrejs Pildegovičs, Latvia’s new ambassador to the United States who has been serving as Vīķe-Freiberga’s head of the chancery.

At noon, Speaker of the Parliament Indulis Emsis will present the president with the Order of Viesturs and the Cross of Recognition. She also will see the unveiling of a portrait of her created by artist Miervaldis Polis.

At 21:15 hours July 7, Vīķe-Freiberga is scheduled to address the nation on Latvian state television.

Vīke-Freiberga was elected president in 1999 and re-elected in 2003.

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

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