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Vaira Vike Freiberga

Lyse Doucet talks to remarkable women about their role in the democratic system. Vaira Vike Freiberga, the first female president of Latvia, tells her extraordinary life story.

Lyse Doucet talks to remarkable women across the globe about their role in the democratic system. In this first programme, the BBC's Chief International Correspondent hears the extraordinary life story of Vaira Vike-Freiberga. She became president of Latvia in 1999, just eight months after returning to the country she had left at the age of seven. "I was elected on the 17th of June, which I thought was a nice date, because that’s the date in which 1940 the Soviet Army crossed our borders and invaded us," she tells Lyse. "I said to myself: 'Now we are getting an exile as a president returning and recovering the country, as it were'."
Producer: Ben Carter

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28 minutes