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Wednesday 17.01.2018 | Name days: Tenis, Dravis
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Zatlers to submit Constitution amendments extending president’s powers

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Today, March 16, the President of the Republic of Latvia Valdis Zatlers is to submit Constitution amendments to the Saeima, stipulating more power to the president to nominate candidates for Ombudsman, State Auditor General and Bank of Latvia President posts.

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

The President of Latvia Valdis Zatlers

Zatlers proposed amendments to the Constitution also require the prime minister has to introduce the president with the established Cabinet of Ministers prior to its approval at the Saeima.

Zatlers will repeatedly put forward the proposal on the presidential right to dissolve the Saeima during a parliamentary crisis.

Likewise, the amendments stipulate that the Constitutional Court is to first decide on the president’s resignation, and only in case of unfavourable decision, further decision-making will be passed on to the Saeima.

As reported, the Constitutional Rights Committee of the President of Latvia has concluded that, as the state constitutional organ, the president’s potential in the Latvian parliamentary democracy institution has not been fully utilized; therefore, in some aspects the president’s competence has to be specified or expanded.

The Constitutional Rights Committee urges to determine that, before receiving parliamentary confidence, the president’s appointed candidate to the prime minister’s post has to inform the president in advance about the intended government composition. At the same time, maintaining the basic principle that the candidate to the prime minister’s post selects candidates for minister posts. Such an advisory function would ensure efficient cooperation between the president and the Cabinet of Ministers in joint areas of responsibility of the government and the president.

In order to strengthen the Cabinet of Ministers responsibility to the society, the Constitutional Rights Committee proposes to include Cabinet of Ministers members’ vow in the Constitution. Such formal appointment procedure is already foreseen in the Constitution and legislation for the president, Saeima deputies and judges.

In order to balance the political and professional criteria influence on the selection and approval of public officials, the Constitutional Rights Committee suggests to ensure in the Constitution the president’s rights to nominate for the Saeima’s approval politically-professional officials – the Ombudsman, the State Auditor General and the Bank of Latvia President.

According to the Committee, this would increase the role of professional criteria in the candidate selection process, exclude giving preferences to one or another political force and reduce the risk of political disapproval.

The Committee also believes the president of Latvia should be granted the right to nominate one candidate to the Central Election Committee and the institution monitoring the mass media.


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