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Saturday 18.01.2020 | Name days: Antis, Antons
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Latvia’s Education Ministry spots problems with LU rector’s election process

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Latvian Education and Science Minister Ilga Šuplinska (L) and University of Latvia rector Indriķis Muižnieks (R)

Education and Science Ministry has uncovered multiple violations committed in the recent election of the rector for the University of Latvia. It is likely that the standing rector Indriķis Muižnieks will not be approved, as reported by TV3 News on Thursday, 11 July.

Education and Science Minister Ilga Šuplinska decided to not rush the order on Muižnieks’ approval. Instead she has decided to commence an inspection in relation to the rector’s compliance with requirements of regulations. Although officially results will be announced 17 July, it is already clear Muižnieks was elected rector in breach of regulations.

According to the minister, Education Quality State Service is busy compiling a detailed log of uncovered violations. 17 July will mark the end for the investigation. Only once all information has been compiled will it be possible to speak of this openly. The minister predicts that, considering the uncovered violations, the final choice will not be in Muižnieks’ favour.

«There are two possible scenarios. If the minister does not approve the rector, repeated elections will be held. The other is when violations are uncovered and we carry everything to the Cabinet of Ministers and not approve anyone. Both cases are sure to end in repeated elections,» explains Šuplinska.

If the ministry does not approve election results, Muižnieks may stand candidate again. But if the government makes the decision, this option will be denied to him.

Meanwhile University of Latvia vice-rector Ina Druviete believes there is no reason to organize repeated elections.

Šuplinska, on the other hand, has stressed that the detainment of corruption-accused Muižnieks’ deputy Baiba Broka has not affected the investigation of the rector’s election process. Nevertheless, both cases could impact the image and reputation of Latvia’s biggest university.

As it is known, during the extraordinary meeting of LU Constitutional Assembly Muižnieks was re-elected as the university’s rector.

However, the vote was accompanied by scandals and controversial assessments. During the 24 May LU Constitutional Assembly Muižnieks received 141 votes. 143 participants voted against him. The second candidate – Gundars Bērziņš – received 128 votes (156 voted him).

Initially it was announced that no one would be elected. Later, however, it was claimed that Muižnieks was picked because he received more votes.

The ambiguous result of elections caused a wave of disappointment in his opponents. Another LU Constitutional Assembly was organized to hold the second stage of elections in which delegates voted for a single candidate – Muižnieks. 132 delegates voted for him and 112 voted against him. In the end, Muižnieks was declared the winner.


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