Latvia gets first female prime minister

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RIGA, Latvia (AP) — Latvian lawmakers have confirmed the country's first government led by a female prime minister.

Sixty-four votes were cast in favor of Laimdota Straujuma's center-right government, while 27 were against. The remaining nine lawmakers in the 100-member Parliament either abstained or were absent Wednesday.

The 62-year-old Straujuma is regarded as a compromise figure after Latvia's president rejected several other candidates. A long-time civil servant, she joined the senior coalition party Unity earlier this month to take the post.

The previous government of Valdis Dombrovskis, the longest-serving prime minister in Latvia's history, resigned in November after a supermarket roof collapse killed 54 people and stunned the country.

Latvia will hold parliamentary elections in October, and it is unclear whether Straujuma will attempt to keep her position as head of government.

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