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Ceturtdiena 15.11.2018 | Name days: Undīne, Leopolds, Unda
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Ministry invites Riga City Council to cancel time limit for Q&A sessions

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RURiga City Council’s changes to internal rules that provide a 20-minute time limit on questions and answers sessions during meetings do not comply with existing regulations and should be cancelled, as concluded by Latvia’s Environment Protection and Regional Development Ministry.

Environment Protection and Regional Development Minister Kaspars Gerhards’ press-representative Santa Vaļuma says that after reading through changes to the city council’s internal rules, the ministry has decided amendments do not comply with existing regulations. With that, Riga municipality has been asked to either change or cancel the time limit.

As noted by the ministry’s parliamentary secretary Jānis Eglīts, non-compliance with regulations should be fixed no later than the next meeting of the city council.

According to the ministry, amendments in question are in breach of Law on the Status of the Deputy of the Republic City Council and Municipality Council and only serve to limit the rights of deputies to participate in debates, ask questions and provide references. «There are also risks of some members of Riga City Council not having the ability to ask a single question within the small time limit provided for the Q&A session,» ministry’s representatives say.

They also mention that it is necessary to extend the 1 minute and 30 seconds time limit for deputies to voice their opinion. The ministry believes that explanation of voting motives helps with communication and coordination between the ruling coalition and opposition.

Saeima’s rules for internal order are mentioned as an example for optimal regulations – deputies are given five minutes to explain their voting motives.

On 26 March, Gerhards ordered Riga City Council to halt its previously approved restrictions on the number of questions city council deputies are allowed to ask during meetings.


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