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Saturday 21.07.2018 | Name days: Meldra, Meldris, Melisa
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Minister: politicians need to look past their own personal interests and money

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Edmunds Sprudzs

Edmunds Sprudzs

“We can, of course, look for different judicial nuisances, excuses and arguments, replace commas here and there. But politicians need to understand that they need to look past their personal interests and money and take decisive action for the good of society”, – Environmental Protection and Regional Development Minister Edmunds Sprudzs said.

“The fact that the majority of Saeima deputies have supported the criminally prosecuted deputies is a very unpleasant and disturbing fact”, – he comments the May 9 parliamentary vote about the initiative to add amendments to the law that would remove criminally prosecuted municipal deputies from their posts.

The minister is proud of deputies of Reform Party and Unity who voted in favour of the proposal to limit the authority of criminally prosecuted officials, as reported by EPRDM.

“Today’s declined amendments were developed and submitted to the Saeima in order to finally defend the interests of Latvian residents and end the legal arbitrariness in the matter surrounding city council officials’ status”, – the minister said.

Sprudzs had previously said that this vote will test each party’s honesty and the ability of each separate deputy to think beyond their personal worth in favour of society’s interests. Deputies that opposed the approval of the initiative to remove criminally prosecuted deputies from their posts believe it to be normal to have a person that is being criminally prosecuted for committing serious crimes to make decisions that apply to all residents of a given municipality, Sprudzs says.

BNN previously reported that opposition parties had made sure that deputies accused of serious crimes would continue to remain in their posts. In spite of the fact that the vote took place on “an emotionally sensitive” date – May 9 – representatives of Harmony Centre, Union of Greens and Farmers and the National Alliance had managed to go through this issue without conflicts.

This initiative was supported by 38 parliamentarians, 41 voted against, five abstained from the vote.

Proposals were not supported by deputies of parties of the opposition – Harmony Centre (HC), Union of Greens and Farmers (UGF), as well as some deputies of the coalition – Janis Dombrava (National Alliance), Raivis Dzintars (National Alliance) and some others.

The proposal of the commission that developed the amendments to the Law On the Status of the Deputy of the Republic City Council and Municipality Council provided the following: if criminal proceedings are initiated against an official for committing serious crimes, the official loses the right to participate in municipal, commission and committee meetings.

It is also provided that these limitations will remain in power until criminal proceedings have ended. It is planned to have the official be paid only part of his usual salary during this period. This initiative caused wide discussions in the parliament. It was positively viewed and proposed to be supported by coalition officials, while opposition and some of the National Alliance members criticized it.

According to Raivis Dzintars of the National Alliance, people’s lives should not be put into question only to hurt Aivars Lembergs a little.

Unity deputy Lolita Cigane emphasized that this bill is not being pushed because of one or a group of deputies – it is meant to apply to all municipal deputies. “Those who claim this bill is meant to be used against specific people, in reality lobby the interests of those people. They do not think about benefiting society”, – she says.

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  1. Ilmars says:

    The politicians who voted against this bill , and the abstainers , are just as complicit as the criminals they support.
    Ppl should have long memories of this at the next Latvian election , and indeed the coming Riga election , and vote these thieves out of office.
    These crooks should not only be booted out of the Saeima but be investigated by the anti-corruption commission.

  2. Oddis says:

    So those who voted against the bill accept to have corrupt politicians? Good riddance. They are free to accept bribes and can still continue as a politician? What a banana republic.

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