Latvia's parliament approves first female prime minister

RIGA Wed Jan 22, 2014 4:55am EST

Long-time civil servant Laimdota Straujuma, who was nominated as Latvia's prime minister, gestures during a news conference in Riga January 6, 2014. REUTERS Ints Kalnins

Long-time civil servant Laimdota Straujuma, who was nominated as Latvia's prime minister, gestures during a news conference in Riga January 6, 2014.

Credit: Reuters Ints Kalnins

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RIGA (Reuters) - Latvia's parliament approved on Wednesday Laimdota Straujuma to become the first female prime minister of the Baltic state, which joined the euro zone on January 1.

Valdis Dombrovskis, 42, who steered the country through the economic crisis, resigned as prime minister last November, taking responsibility for the collapse of a supermarket in Riga which killed more than 50 people.

Straujuma, 62, a veteran civil servant who held a post of agriculture minister in Dombrovskis' cabinet since October 2011, promised to stick to the policies of the outgoing government.

The parliament has already approved a budget for this year and parliamentary elections are due already in October.

(Reporting by Aija Krutaine. Editing by Nerijus Adomaitis)

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