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Friday 18.08.2017 | Name days: Liene, Helēna, Elena, Ellena, Liena
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Latvian opposition unites to support deputies accused of serious crimes

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Аuthor: Evija Trifanova/LETA

Opposition parties make sure that deputies accused of serious crimes will continue to remain in their posts. In spite of the fact that the vote took place on “an emotionally sensitive” date – May 9 – representatives of Harmony Centre, Union of Greens and Farmers and the National Alliance managed to go through this issue without conflicts.

This initiative was supported by 38 parliamentarians, 41 voted against, five abstained from the vote.

Proposals were not supported by deputies of parties of the opposition – Harmony Centre (HC), Union of Greens and Farmers (UGF), as well as some deputies of the coalition – Janis Dombrava (National Alliance), Raivis Dzintars (National Alliance) and some others.

The proposal of the commission that developed the amendments to the Law On the Status of the Deputy of the Republic City Council and Municipality Council provided the following: if criminal proceedings are initiated against an official for committing serious crimes, the official loses the right to participate in municipal, commission and committee meetings.

It is also provided that these limitations will remain in power until criminal proceedings have ended. It is planned to have the official be paid only part of his usual salary during this period. This initiative caused wide discussions in the parliament. It was positively viewed and proposed to be supported by coalition officials, while opposition and some of the National Alliance members criticized it.

According to Raivis Dzintars of the National Alliance, people’s lives should not be put into question only to hurt Aivars Lembergs a little.

Unity deputy Lolita Cigane emphasized that this bill is not being pushed because of one or a group of deputies – it is meant to apply to all municipal deputies. “Those who claim this bill is meant to be used against specific people, in reality lobby the interests of those people. They do not think about benefiting society”, – she says.

Representatives of the opposition also voted against this initiative. Deputy chairman of HC Valery Agesin said during debates that the idea about limiting an official’s authority is not bad, just that the execution is “weak and does not comply with principles of legislation”. Chairman of the parliamentary faction of UGF Augusts Brigmanis said this proposal is “absolutely absurd”, because it is written “for one person”.

The Saeima had reviewed this bill in its second reading and, in spite of the declined proposal, approved it.

As previously reported, initial proposal by the Environmental Protection and Regional Development Ministry stated that a municipal official’s authority was to be halted if criminal proceedings were initiated against him. Initial proposals were not supported. Another proposal was developed shortly after, and has received the support of the commission on April 30.Another proposal from the ministry suggests removing an official from the post of Chairman of municipality in accordance with the Law on Municipalities: if the official fails to fulfil the duties stated by the law. This would allow the head of EPRDM to remove the official from his post with a direct order. Unity official Lolita Cigane offers adding the law with a regulation that states an official would lose his right to participate in meetings of commissions and municipalities if criminal proceedings are initiated against him.

BNN previously reported that a good example is the former Mayor of Jurmala Raimonds Munkevics. Some two and a half years ago, the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau (CPCB) had detained Munkevics for giving a bribe of 5 000 LVL in order to make sure the outcome of the municipal vote is beneficial to him. The prosecutor’s office presented charges rather quickly – after two months after the case was uncovered. Munkevics is currently being prosecuted, but remains present in Jurmala City Council along with the colleagues who reported the crime to the authorities.

Environment Protection and Regional Development Minister Edmunds Sprudzs had previously noted that “the vote on this matter will be similar to the one about Mr Slesers’ apartment search.”

Sprudzs had previously emphasized the deciding factor in this matter is the ability of the opposition to find support in the coalition and delay the bill’s approval in discussions of different commissions, so that the final reading is carried out after the upcoming municipal elections. This would allow the criminally prosecuted officials to remain in power.

Ref: 102.109.109.7217


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  1. The colly flower says:

    BANANA. BANANA .REPUBLICA.

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  2. Olaf Stocholm says:

    Latvia is the most beautifull country in the world.No pollution intact nature.No corruption exemplary politicians.No more crisis and so on…If you do beleive this you are either totally stupid or Latvian.Make your choice.

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