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Wednesday 20.03.2019 | Name days: Made, Irbe
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European court prohibits Aivars Lembergs from governing Ventspils

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUOn Thursday, 11 October, European Court for Human Rights announced its verdict in the case in which Lemgergs sued Latvian state. Judges unanimously declined the complaint submitted by the formally dismissed Mayor of Ventspils Aivars Lembergs in relation to possible violation of election rights, as reported by Latvia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry.

In the plea submitted to European Court for Human Rights on 22 August 2017, Lembergs complained about the prohibition imposed on him to perform duties as chairman of Ventspils City Council. He also claimed that voters had expressed their will by electing him in Ventspils City Council. On top of that, he also said public surveys showed that Voters want to see him as chairman of the city council.

The security measure applied to Aivars Lembergs – prohibition to perform duties as chairman of Ventspils City Council – does not allow him to work in this post. Lembergs believes this breaches election rights guaranteed by the Convention.

While looking Lembergs’ complaint, European Court for Human Rights reminded that the Convention guarantees both the right to vote and be a candidate in elections. Regulations of the Convention are applicable only for election of legislators. The term ‘legislator’ in the Convention does not only mean the national parliament, because the definition is interpreted in accordance with each country’s constitutional system. At the same time, in other similar cases institutions concluded that municipalities are not considered legislators in the Convention’s internal interpretation.

Although a legislator’s functions may not be exclusive for a country’s parliament, the authority to issue rules and legal acts, which is something many member states part of the Convention have delegated to local municipal administrations, should be separate from legislator’s power, the ministry notes.

As for Lembergs’ complaint, the court stressed that in accordance with Section 64 of the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia, legislative power in Latvia is realized by the Saeima and in some cases by the people. Rights delegated to city and county councils to issue rules are limited to the extent detailed in appropriate municipal laws or Cabinet of Ministers requirements. Compliance with requirements and completion of objectives by municipalities is monitored by the Cabinet of Ministers. Duties of the head of a city or county council include governance of work performed by municipal administrations and representation in state and other municipal institutions.

European Court for Human Rights concluded that Latvian city and county councils and their chairmen do not exercise legislative power. Because of that, they are not considered legislators in the definition detailed in Article 3 of Protocol No. 1 of the Convention. The court concluded that the complaint submitted by Aivars Lembergs does not fit under the Convention’s detailed article and is therefore considered unacceptable for further review.

Latvia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry notes that European Court for Human Rights reviewed Lembergs’ complaint without asking opinion from Latvia’s government.


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  1. Ilmars says:

    The only voters in Ventspils who want to see Lembergs as mayor would be voters that he bribed .
    This crook should be locked up in the Ventspils jail and the keys thrown away.

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