Former Latvian Prime Minister Aigars Kalvitis will head up his country's ice hockey governing body ©Getty Images

The Latvian Ice Hockey Federation (LHF) has elected the country's former Prime Minister Aigars Kalvitis as its new President.

The 50-year-old held the prestigious political office between 2004 and 2007 and is also currently the chairman of natural gas company Latvijas Gaze.

Kalvitis, elected at the LHF Congress, is a co-owner of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) side Dinamo Riga, while his son Karlis represented Latvia at the 2010 International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Junior Championship.

He succeeds Kirovs Lipmans, who has held the job for almost 20 years during two separate spells, between 1994 and 1995 and 1998 and this year.

Latvia failed to qualify for the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics ©Getty Images
Latvia failed to qualify for the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics ©Getty Images

Latvia reached the top eight at the senior men's IIHF World Championship three times during Lipmans' reign, and played at four Winter Olympic Games from Salt Lake City 2002 onwards.

Their best performance was an eighth place finish at Sochi 2014, but the European nation suffered disappointment when they failed to earn a spot at Pyeongchang 2018 at their home qualification tournament in Riga.

After winning their first two group matches last month, Latvia lost a winner-takes-all decider 3-2 to Germany, who subsequently took the sole spot available in Pyeongchang.

Lipmans' era also saw Latvia host the men's IIHF World Championship in 2006, but he has decided to step down following the Olympic failure.

A new LHF Board has also been formed, including Valentins Blugers, Viesturs Koziols, Edgars Jansons, Armands Steinbergs, Ralfs Bukarts and Maris Martinsons.