In-person parliament sittings might resume in few weeks' time - Speaker Murniece

  • 2022-02-09
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - In-person Saeima sittings might be resumed in the next coming weeks, Speaker Inara Murniece  (National Alliance) believes.

The current Covid-19 wave is expected to peak soon, and once infections have started dropping, the parliament will move towards resuming on-site work, the speaker's representative Dace Balode told LETA. 

According to the Saeima speaker, at their meetings, lawmakers be wearing facemasks or respirators because distancing in the parliament hall is not possible and some Saeima sittings can be even ten hours long. 

Murniece also noted that many lawmakers are already working at the parliament house, including members of the Saeima Presidium and some parliamentary committees. Parliamentarians also make and receive various visits, the speaker said. 

In an interview with Latvian Television this morning, Murniece also voiced hope that in-person Saeima sittings might resume soon. 

For the last half a year, Saeima sittings have been taking place only in the e-Saeima system amid high Covid-19 incidence.  

As reported, President Egils Levits has also called on lawmakers to urgently decide on resuming in-person work at the Saeima building.

In an interview with Latvian Television on Tuesday, the president said that for the parliament remote work is only permissible in an "extreme situation".

The president believes that the "extreme situation is about to end soon", so the parliament should get back to work as normal. The president pointed out that the Saeima is an on-site working institution and that communicating by videolink is only 50 percent effective. The parliament therefore has to return to in-person work.

Levits called on the Saeima, as an institution with authority to decide on its work arrangements, to return to in-person work already now.

As reported, MPs of the ruling coalition have repeatedly rejected the opposition's proposals for the parliament to resume in-person work.