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Monday 20.11.2017 | Name days: Anda, Andīna

Liepins: the Saeima looks at what who you are, not what you have to offer

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUThe Saeima looks at who you are and what you represent, not what you have to offer. This is a long-standing tradition in the parliament. This form of thinking is reflected in Inara Murniece’s actions – her attention is not focused on solving problems, but rather on the fact that she is in the position of making decisions, notes Saeima deputy Dainis Liepins of the Latvian Regional Alliance.

As confirmed by the Saeima Legal Affairs Office, Liepins is prohibited to take part in meetings of the Saeima and its committees.

«Throughout the last two years I’ve been trying to get everyone’s attention focused on the fact that the government has taken absolutely illegal actions against me. I have documents and conclusions made by judicial experts and State Revenue Service that prove it. Unfortunately, no one seems interested,» – said Liepins in his interview to Diena.

He explains: «I own many different properties, so I have been employing consultants to help me compile annual declarations for some time now. They had made a mistake, and I decided to correct it myself. SRS ignored this correction because, as their representatives told in court, the electronic declaration system used by SRS does not support the function of correcting mistakes.»

When asked why he went to attend a Saeima meeting if he is prohibited to do so, Liepins noted that «Part 2 of Section 15 of Saeima Procedures clearly states that a deputy is considered to have attended a Saeima meeting if he had taken part in all registrations. If I am banned from taking part in a meeting, I do not register myself and do not participate in debates. There are 100 seats in the parliament meant for deputies. I have a specific seat as well. Why can’t I sit there? Even though a ban has been put up to prevent me from participating in Saeima meetings, I remain a deputy.»

When asked about counter arguments, Liepins said: «They say there are traditions. What traditions?! Inara Murniece said it plainly in her interview to TV24: the Saeima Procedures shall be interpreted accordingly. Well what is this? Does she mean we should freely interpret all laws now? If we like a person we will and if we don’t like the person – we won’t? […] All this only serves to form judicial nihilism. Zero responsibility (show me at least a single person capable of taking responsibility for anything; there is no one). In my situation, everyone knows very well that there will be a very long litigation and that I am the one who’s going to pay for it. Let’s be realistic – all courts can be influenced – all judges know that if this is a sensitive case, they cannot assist representatives of the opposition. Quite the opposite – judges are expected to follow orders of the ruling coalition. I’d love to see a single judge that work’s the opposite way.»

When asked whether or not there is any hope for such traditions to go away, Liepins said «there is no hope… Even if we look at the budget coordination and budget quotas divided by EUR 20,000 per deputy. I think all of it is one big thieving scheme.’ Liepins agrees that this happens so that deputies can ‘accomplish’ the allocation of additional finances for repairs of schools and cultural halls. ‘And depending on the person asking for additional finances, allocation of money for roofs, roads or playgrounds can either be supported or declined. I believe it is nothing short of robbery,» – says LRA representative.

«LRA has submitted more than 40 proposals and sections for specific laws – none of them have even come close to discussions in committees. This includes the matter regarding transport fees. Lithuania and Estonia have long since understood that only the people that drive should pay it, so they added the fee to the petrol price. Now is the time to do it – fuel price is low at the moment, so there would not be any price rise shock. The answer we were given was: no, it would affect the budget, and there are other risks with it. We’ve had proposals for the Education Law. Unfortunately, obstacles have been put in our path everywhere we went. With that, no one can say we have no proposals and ideas,» – said Liepins.

«I can understand from my colleagues that this tradition is old in the Saeima – they look at what you are, not what you have to offer. I think this is the largest problem. This form of thinking is also reflected in actions of the Saeima Chairperson – her attention is not focused on problem-solving. Instead she focuses on the fact that she is in the position to make decisions. She stands in line to shake hands with presidents, so she believes she is important in some way. But the reality is that she is not an individual. I don’t want to offend her – maybe she is a great person, but she is not in her place,» – Liepins believes.


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