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Wednesday 21.08.2019 | Name days: Linda, Janīna
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Saeima committee may invite parliament to decide on dismissing national media council

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NEPLP members (from the left) Patriks Grīva, Ivars Āboliņš and Dace Ķezbere

This week Saeima’s Human Rights and Public Affairs Committee could schedule a meeting to decide on the request for the parliament to dissolve Latvia’s National Electronic Mass Media Council (NEPLP), said head of the committee Artuss Kaimiņš on Monday, 12 August.

He said coalition partners have discussed the problems that have surfaced between Latvijas Radio employees and the council. Additionally, the coalition was informed about the letters the committee has received from different organizations, including Latvijas Radio News Service, Latvijas Radio trade union, Latvian Association of Journalists, the ombudsman and others with negative opinions of the quality of work performed by NEPLP.

According to Kaimiņš, Saeima’s responsible committee could schedule a meeting this week to discuss existing problems with NEPLP members so that it is possible to ask the Saeima to dismiss council members.

«I believe we need to assess every NEPLP member’s responsibility individually. The law states it is possible to dismiss council members one by one, not all together. Considering the aforementioned, I would like for us to discuss concerns voiced by organizations, which could end with evaluation of each NEPLP member’s professionalism. Currently there is an enormous crisis of trust for media, and the Saeima committee is responsible for its resolution,» stressed Kaimiņš.

When asked to clarify if there is a possibility of Saeima committee requesting dismissal of the entire NEPLP, Kaimiņš said there is.

«I believe it is necessary to review each NEPLP member’s responsibility and professionalism, because each of them has their own area of responsibility. Additionally, serious issues that point to high shortage of professionalism have been uncovered. This topic could be discussed during the next meeting,» said the parliamentarian.

Saeima deputy Daniels Pavļuts said that there have been many discussions about NEPLP so far. This is why Saeima’s Human Rights and Public Affairs Committee should evaluate each NEPLP member’s responsibility individually, as well as their suitability for the posts they have.

National Alliance member Imants Parādnieks agrees with his colleague’s opinion, admitting that each NEPLP member should be evaluated separately. At the same time, he said the council should not be replaced simply because change is requested.

New Conservative Party’s (NCP) representative Juta Strīķe stressed that her party believes the entire NEPLP should be replaced.

«NCP stands in favour of allocation of more money for Latvijas Radio. The sooner NEPLP and Latvijas Radio boards are replaced, the sooner they will get normal and comprehensive management. I have heard from international commentators that nothing will ever change in Russia as long as Vladimir Putin remains in power. Nothing will change in any institution as long as inappropriate leaders remain in power,» said Strīķe.

As previously reported, Latvian Association of Journalists has turned to the Saeima, requesting dismissal of NEPLP members. The Saeima is asked to take notice and focus on evaluation of work performed by NEPLP members. At the same time, the organization asks the parliament to develop and adopt a new public media management model.


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