Anatolijs Gorbunovs

Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Latvia, Speaker of the Saeima
Born: February 10, 1942 in Pilda parish, Ludza District, Latvia. From 1974 he held various positions in the Communist Party of the Latvian SSR, the most important ones being that of Party Ideologue and then finally the Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Latvian SSR. Unlike most of the Communist Party in Latvia, A. Gorbunovs supported and actively worked for Latvian independence. From 1988, he was speaker of the Latvian "parliament" as it evolved (first, as the Supreme Soviet of Latvian SSR, then Supreme Council of the newly independent Republic of Latvia, and finally the new Saeima, the parliament of the Republic of Latvia as elected according to the Latvian Constitution) . As the Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Latvian SSR, he was considered the local leader in the Soviet System. As such he represented Latvia in the key meeting with Boris Yeltsin at the house, in which Latvian independence was confirmed. He was also a regular visitor to the house on various types of government business both before and after 1991.
After restoration of the Latvian Government system; according to the 1922 Constitution, Gorbunovs as speaker of the parliament, became the acting President of the Republic until 1993, when Guntis Ulmanis was elected to the post in the first Presidental election since the restoration of independence.
Anatolijs Gorbunovs joined the "Latvian Way" party in 1993 and remained the Speaker of the Saeima until 1995 and a member of parliament until 2002. Between 1995 and 2002, at various times he served as Minister of Regional Development, the Minister of Transportation and the Deputy Prime Minister of Latvia.