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Friday 21.02.2020 | Name days: Eleonora, Ariadne

Latvian justice minister asks prime minister to dismiss economy minister

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Jānis Bordāns, Ralfs Nemiro, Latvenergo, Saeima, KPV LV

Latvia’s Justice Minister Jānis Bordāns (L) and Economy Minister Ralfs Nemiro (R)

Latvian Justice Minister Jānis Bordāns has asked Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš to dismiss Economy Minister Ralfs Nemiro over the situation with Latvenergo.

The justice minister is concerned that the situation at Economy Ministry may mean Ralfs Nemiro, instead of executing the objective outlined in the government declaration – liquidating MPC – is putting all efforts into appointing people close to him and people with insufficient qualifications and questionable reputation to one of the most strategically important state companies – Latvenergo.

Bordāns says that Nemiro’s activities involving Latvenergo do not comply with principles of good management.

«Additionally, the ministry’s administrative head, who has so far acted responsibly to prevent the situation from destabilizing, is asked to leave his post,» says Bordāns.

«As an associate of the prime minister and justice minister, I stand with rule of law and principles of good management, as well as careful and responsible maintenance of state property, democratic state administration and against the lobbying of personal interests of a narrow group of people. Working in the same government, I cannot agree and cover up such unethical and illegal activity. I would like to point out that Latvenergo as the entity responsible for maintenance of strategically important infrastructure is critically important for state security,» Bordāns mentioned in his statement.

The justice minister reminds that the prime minister has the right to request the dismissal of any coalition partner’s minister if this person has lost trust or if the minister’s work is lacking from the opinion of professional quality.

As previously reported, Economy Ministry’s state secretary Ēriks Eglītis submitted his resignation and sent a letter to the ethics committee of KPV LV political party and Saeima’s Mandate, Ethics and Submissions Committee with a request to evaluate decisions made by Nemiro in appointing people close to him into important posts.

In his letter, Eglītis also touched on the topic of management of Latvenergo, stating that for decades Latvenergo has been considered the most valuable company in Latvia thanks to its professional and independent council and its decisions. «However, on 16 June 2019, the minister, using the slow implementation of the company’s objectives as an excuse, had Latvenergo council dismissed, approving an interim council in its stead on the same day. On top of that, he put people close to him in the council. Those people have questionable reputation and knowledge – his advisor and lawyer Pāvels Rebenoks, minister’s office head without any knowledge in business management Inese Kublicka, the board member of Wind Energy Association Kristaps Stepanovs, board member of Rigensis Bank, which has received warnings from the Finance and Capital Market Commission, Renārs Degro and economist Artūrs Šņoriņš,» Eglītis wrote in his letter.

Read more here: Economy Ministry’s state secretary leaves; asks to assess Nemiro’s choice of associates

The suspended EM state secretary also reports that the personnel selection process for Latvenergo council members under his supervision has concluded. There are a total of eight candidates.

«Instead of supporting the decision to approve candidates proposed by the committee and with no risks identified by security services, the minister decided to pick candidates on his own, and this includes candidates security services had previously declared unfit for the job,» Eglītis wrote.

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