RIGA, July 8 (Xinhua) -- Latvian lawmakers approved at an extraordinary parliament session on Monday opera singer and politician Nauris Puntilis of the right-wing National Alliance as the country's new culture minister, local media informed.
Puntulis was approved in the ministerial office by 63 votes to 20.
Speaking in parliament before the vote on the ministerial candidate, Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins underlined that the new culture minister's most challenging tasks will include advancing the national concert hall project in Riga and strengthening Latvia's information and media environment.
The National Alliance, a junior partner in Latvia's center-right government, had to pick a new culture minister after previous culture minister Dace Melbarde was elected to the European Parliament in May.
Puntulis, an opera tenor, is still a soloist at the Latvian National Opera. Since 2013, he is also a member of the Riga city council where he chairs the National Alliance faction.