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Tuesday 20.03.2018 | Name days: Made, Irbe

Experts on Zatlers’s decision to dismiss Saeima

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 Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU

Ivars Ijabs, Juris Rozenvalds and Roberts Kilis

President of Latvia Valdis Zatlers’ decision to call for the Saeima dissolution was adopted in line with the motto – better late than never. However, the Saeima actions also triggered it, Latvian political scientists say.

President of Latvia acted according to the motto «better late than never», says the political scientist Ivars Ījabs, commenting on Zatlers’ decision to initiate the Saeima dissolution procedure.

This situation can be assessed from two perspectives. Firstly, Zatlers took a very risky and manly step. He not only runs the risk of not becoming the President of Latvia [for another four years], but rather significantly risks to affect the political processes, indicates the political scientist. He adds the nation is likely to vote on the Saeima dissolution, because, although three years late, the President has put three wealthy «uncles» in their place.

However, Ījabs points out yet another view that with the new Saeima election Zatlers will have to take into account he has overthrown the Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis’ government. It is expected that in the next Saeima elections better results will be attained by the Harmony Center (Saskaņas centrs) and the national association All For Latvia!-TB/LNNK (Visu Latvijai!-TB/LNNK), who did not gain power at the current Saeima convocation.

The political scientist Juris Rozenvalds believes the Saeima’s activities were the reason for the dissolution and Zatlers’s strategy is understandable, because the Saeima’s vote on Thursday, May 26, to prevent the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau (CPCB) from carrying out a search at Saeima deputy Ainars Slesers’ residence was scandalous.

However, the President’s arguments indicated that he mixes up the 9th Saeima’s work with that of the 10th Saeima. Also, Zatlers’ decision cannot be assessed conclusively, because it is contradictory to his proposed Constitution amendments, granting the people rights to withdraw the Parliament.

According to the current Constitution, the nation cannot dismiss the President one year after the new Saeima meeting and half-year before the expiry of the President’s mandate. Nevertheless, these rules do not apply to the President’s decision.

Rozenvalds projects people will support the Saeima dismissal at the referendum, given its low rating.

Whereas, Roberts Ķīlis, head of Latvia’s Commission of Strategic Analysis under the Auspices of the President (LCSA), admits it was him to suggest Zatlers entrusting the people to solve the conflict between the judiciary and law makers.

However, he explains this was not merely his position, but the opinion of the LCSA in general, as the task of them is to help President to formulate the opinion by providing analysis of all risks linked to the potential decision.

Moreover, the LCSA was already discussing consequences of the Saeima dismissal back in 2009.

In a situation when one branch of the power, law makers, takes over the competence of another, judiciary, it is time for the sovereign power holders – the people – to solve the conflict, says, Kilis, pointing out he has already previously supported the idea people should be delegated more important role in the democracy.

The head of the LCSA stresses speculations around Zatlers’s personal interest in the Saeima dismissal are pathetic and absurd. From such a perspective, one could conclude there are barely any honest people in the politics.

Business News Portal BNN already reported, President of Latvia Valdis Zatlers, in accordance with Article 48 of the Latvian Constitution, called for the Saeima dismissal on a nationwide live TV speech on Saturday.

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