Open main menu

Ivars Godmanis (born 27 November 1949) is a Latvian politician who was Prime Minister of Latvia from 1990 to 1993 and again from 2007 to 2009. He was the first Prime Minister of Latvia after the country restored its independence from the Soviet Union.

Ivars Godmanis
Ivars Godmanis saeima.jpg
1st Prime Minister of Latvia
In office
20 December 2007 – 12 March 2009
PresidentValdis Zatlers
Preceded byAigars Kalvītis
Succeeded byValdis Dombrovskis
In office
7 May 1990* – 3 August 1993
PresidentAnatolijs Gorbunovs (Acting)
Guntis Ulmanis
Preceded byVilnis Edvīns Bresis
Succeeded byValdis Birkavs
Personal details
Born (1949-11-27) 27 November 1949 (age 69)
Riga, Latvia
Political partyPopular Front of Latvia (1988–1993)
Latvian Way (1997–2007)
Latvia's First Party/Latvian Way (2007–2011)
Alma materUniversity of Latvia
  • As the Chairman of the Council of Ministers
Ivars Godmanis (on left) at meeting of Latvia government and deployers of US embassy in Riga

Political careerEdit

Godmanis served as Prime Minister from 1990 to 1993, focusing primarily on Latvia's difficult economic transition from a communist to a capitalist economy. In 1995 Godmanis was awarded with the Order of the Three Stars.[1] He later served as the Finance Minister from 1998 to 1999. He was originally associated with the Latvian Popular Front, but after the Front ceased to exist he moved to the Latvian Way party. In November 2006, following elections in which the Latvian Way in coalition with Latvia's First Party returned to Parliament, Godmanis became the Minister of the Interior.

On 14 December 2007, Godmanis was nominated as Prime Minister by President Valdis Zatlers.[2] He was approved by the parliament on 20 December, with 54 votes in favor and 43 in opposition.[3]

On 18 June 2008 he suffered head injuries in a car accident when his official limousine was involved in a collision with a small bus.[4]

On 19 September 2008 he replaced Roger Taylor on drums during Queen + Paul Rodgers' performance of "All Right Now" at a concert in Riga.[5][6]

Economic problems and corruption charges caused the popularity of Godmanis's government to plummet. In January 2009, anti-government protests turned into the worst riots the country has seen since re-gaining independence in 1991.[7] On 20 February 2009, Godmanis resigned as Prime Minister along with the rest of his government over concerns about handling the economic crisis.[8] On 26 February 2009, President Valdis Zatlers appointed former finance minister Valdis Dombrovskis as the new prime minister; he was sworn in on 12 March 2009.[9]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Triju Zvaigžņu ordenis" (in Latvian). Retrieved 2 December 2008.
  2. ^ "Godmanis nominated for prime minister", The Baltic Times, 19 December 2007.
  3. ^ "Latvia’s old coalition back in power" Archived 25 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine, Reuters (The Peninsula Online), 21 December 2007.
  4. ^ "Latvian PM fractures skull in Riga car accident" Archived 25 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine, AFP (, Wednesday, 18 June 2008.
  5. ^ "Queen + Ivars Godmanis". Queen Productions. 22 September 2008. Retrieved 21 February 2009.
  6. ^ "Queen News September 2008". Retrieved 22 February 2009.
  7. ^ "/ Europe – Latvian poll threat after rioting". Financial Times. 14 January 2009. Retrieved 22 February 2009.
  8. ^ "Latvian PM quits as crisis bites". BBC News. 20 February 2009. Retrieved 20 February 2009.
  9. ^ "Dombrovskis chosen as Latvian PM". BBC News. 26 February 2009. Retrieved 26 February 2009.

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
Vilnis-Edvīns Bresis
as Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Latvian SSR
Prime Minister of Latvia
1990 – 1993
Succeeded by
Valdis Birkavs
Preceded by
Aigars Kalvītis
Prime Minister of Latvia
2007 – 2009
Succeeded by
Valdis Dombrovskis