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Monday 22.07.2019 | Name days: Marija, Marika, Marina
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Latvian president announces amendments allowing for open election of state president

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RULatvian President Raimonds Vējonis has announced amendments to the country’s constitution that allow for open election of the state president, as noted in the official statement published in Latvian Herald.

Previously, commenting on his position on open election of the state president, Vējonis said that open voting would be an imitation of work that would not benefit transparency.

«I do not support any kind of open election – I believe it to be an imitation of work. Political parties always make mutual agreements before votes anyway. Individual deputies are unable to share opinions with one another, because they have to vote the way their party has decided in relation to a specific candidate,» said Vējonis.

Saeima approved amendments on 4 October. 85 members of the parliament supported changes to the Constitution, whereas three members were against.

Until now, Saeima always elected the state president in a closed vote.

Changes to the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia will come to force 1 January 2019. It is necessary to approve amendments to the State President Election Law. It is possible changes will be approved by the 12th Saeima.

Amendments to the Constitution regarding open election of the state president were submitted to the Saeima by members of Latvian Association of Regions in spring 2018.

There had been similar attempts to amend the Constitution in the past. In 2012 and 2013, for example, when the Saeima declined amendments to the Constitution that provided for open election of the state president and judges of the Constitutional Court. In 2014, the attempt to amend the Constitution was thwarted by the Union of Greens and Farmers.

It was previously reported that a total of 11,509 people had signed the petition on manabals.lv portal in favour of open election of the state president. After the 4 October vote, representative of the initiative Jānis Veide said the parliament has made a step closer to society. «Amendments will make them explain and justify their choice to society, which will ensure the best possible candidate is elected, not some puppet of a party or group of influential people,» said Veide.

At the same time, the parliament’s decision is also expected in a different aspect for the election of the state president. This September, members of UGF submitted to Saeima’s committees amendments to the Constitution detailing people’s elected state president.

Gaidis Bērziņš, chairman of Saeima’s Legal Affairs Committee, had previously mentioned that the next Saeima would have to work on those amendments. Additionally, it was mentioned during debates that regulations for a people’s elected state president could be adopted in time for the next presidential elections – in 2023.


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