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Wednesday 18.10.2017 | Name days: Rolanda, Rolands, Ronalds, Erlends

Experts approve of Berzins' decision not to include some matters on Saeima agenda

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUIt is a correct decision of President of Latvia Andris Berzins not to include certain bills on the agenda of the emergency Saeima session on September 8. Otherwise, it would turn into agitation, according to politic scientists surveyed by BNN.

Apart from amendments to the Immigration, Pension and other laws, also amendments to the Constitutions have not been included on the agenda. They provide revising parliament members immunity in case of searches and administrative offenses. Some time ago, it was exactly that matter which triggered fuss in the society after the Saeima voted not to permit searching the politicians’ Ainars Slesers house.

Having talked to the Chairman of the Constitutional Court, President decided firmly that it is not going to be this Saeima to amend the Constitution. He had already previously pointed out that the dismissed Saeima should not decide on constitutional matters, besides each such amendment also needs an opinion from the part of constitutional rights commission, Liga Krapane, Berzins’ press secretary, told BNN.

Ilga Kreituse, dean of Riga Stradins University, believes the move was right, because now politic parties will not be able to use the parliamentary tribune to boast about themselves and their parties. Given that parties have limited financial means, they have been making use of each and every possibility to announce about embezzlement and waste of money committed by others. She adds that some attention to the matter should be paid only after the elections and in case they are forgotten.

According to Kreituse, deputies’ immunity in cases of searches and administrative offenses really should be revised.

“It is a waste of time that a special commission has to be set up to review a case when a public official has violated rules of the road,” she says.

Also Ilze Ostrovska, Associate Professor at the Baltic International Academy, agrees such matters should not be decided upon when there is so little time until elections. Otherwise, it all turns into a farce called “Radio and television”.

“I assume that it was Gundars Daudze, the former Saeima Speaker and the current head of Berzins Chancery, who proposed this and Berzins agreed to that,” she says, adding that in case this Saeima were to decide on these bills, the new one still would have to revise these decisions.

According to Juris Rozenvalds, professor at the University of Latvia, Faculty of Social Sciences Political Science programme, Berzins is acting within a previously established framework, which means avoiding populism.

“Given the scandalous case with Slesers, which sharpened the society’s attention, the situation is absurd and this Saeima is unlikely righteous to decide upon the matter.

If these amendments were included on the agenda, the whole session would turn into a discussion not among deputies but deputies and the public – just like in the presidential elections when parties were trying to polish their images.

“This is another reason why the matter should be postponed,” he adds.

Politic scientist Ivars Ijabs points out this move is cautious. At this stage, when there are only ten days to go until elections, is not right to decide upon matters of populist nature.

“It is a reasonable Berzins’ decision to postpone these matters, because the next Saeima will decide upon them” he says.

According to him, democratic countries should abandon such deputies’ immunity at all or limit it as mush as possible.

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  1. BroodMan says:

    Berzins will follow all opinions of his team.

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