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Saturday 19.10.2019 | Name days: Drosma, Drosmis, Elīna

Bordāns: education minister’s dismissal would mean collapse for the government

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Latvia’s Justice Minister Jānis Bordāns

If partners of the ruling coalition in Latvia request dismissal for Education and Science Minister Ilga Šuplinska, the existing Cabinet of Ministers will cease to exist, says New Conservative Party leader and Latvia’s Justice Minister Jānis Bordāns.

Commenting the litigation dealing with the plea from acting rector of the University of Latvia Indriķis Muižnieks regarding the overturning of the government’s decision, Bordāns stresses that Šuplinska is very responsible in her work. «She fearlessly and professionally does her work when it comes to the university’s staff management,» said the minister.

Bordāns stresses that the litigation was launched by Muižnieks, not Šuplinska or the government, and that Education and Science Ministry has no reasons to change its views and legal arguments in relation to this topic.

«The court has done its job, which is nothing extra: it’s not a sentence, it’s a ruling. The litigation is the opposing side’s marketing trick to scare people some more. The court has made a ruling that does not point to how the final sentence could turn out. It could be completely different,» says the minister.

He stresses there should not be any concerns about the minister potentially changing her course when initiating reforms in the sector.

«Colleagues at the government meeting were reminded that this has happened before – one minister who wanted to develop the industry was sacrificed. This was Education and Science Minister Roberts Ķīlis. With this minister’s termination, to which his party member had contributed, his entire party soon folded. Betraying their values and giving in to pressure, this party ceased to exist,» said New Conservative Party’s leader.

He stresses the question whether Education and Science Ministry should appeal the court’s applied temporary regulation, which halts the decision made by the Cabinet of Ministers on non-approval of Muižnieks as rector of the University of Latvia, is for the ministry’s lawyers to answer. Bordāns stresses he does not have the authority to comment whether or not it should be appealed.

The minister expects the government’s partners will support Šuplinska and will not request her dismissal. «If partners of the coalition request her dismissal, this government will cease to exist,» the minister warns.

At the end of August, after lengthy discussions Latvia’s government decided to not approve Muižnieks as rector of the University of Latvia. This decision was made based on the opinion of Education and Science Ministry – that the Law on Higher Education Institutions and Law on the Constitution of the University of Latvia were breached in the election of the rector’s election.

Requesting overturning the government’s administrative act, Muižnieks turned to the Administrative court, also requesting establishment of a temporary ban on election of a new rector, which means no new rector would be elected until the dispute has been settled.

Read also: Administrative court decides to overturn non-approval of Muižnieks as LU rector

On Monday, 30 September, the Administrative District Court decided to overturn the decision made by the Cabinet of Ministers in regards to Muižnieks’ non-approval. Currently it is unknown when the court might view the case in detail. The overturning of the government’s decision means all legal consequences caused by it are also halted. This means Muižnieks is to be considered the acting rector of the university of Latvia.

Šuplinska allows the court’s temporary regulation could be appealed. The minister told LTV programme Panorāma that the Administrative District Court has not attempted to look into Muižnieks’ election process. When asked if she could resign after such a decision from the court, Šuplinska said: «No!»

«The court’s reaction to non-recognition of results of both meetings is odd. Basically it is clear the court has not attempted to look into and understand the election process, which was mentioned as the most important reason why election results should be in focus,» said the minister.

Meanwhile, Latvia’s Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš says he respects the court’s decision and expects proposals from Šuplinska in regards to future actions.

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