Levits would back restoring Constitution's Article 81 in modern version

  • 2020-03-23
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - In the current emergency circumstances, President Egils Levits would support restoring Article 81 to the Latvian Constitution in a modern version. 

In an interview to Latvian Radio, Levits said that although many lawmakers have been forced to self-isolate after MP Artuss Kaimins tested positive for Covid-19 last week, Saeima is still functional, even though it has to work remotely. 

However, the president would be ready to support the restoration of Article 81 to the Latvian Constitution. The article, which was removed from the Constitution more than a decade ago, gave the Cabinet of Ministers the power to adopt regulations with the force of law in specific cases. 

Levits believes that arranging for the parliament to work remotely is a technical matter, because there are various platforms providing video-conferencing opportunities, allowing lawmakers to vote, for instance, by raising a hand. 

The president also believes that in the current emergency, Saeima should defer decisions on such serious issues like the administrative territorial reform. 

Saeima Speaker Inara Murniece informed, meanwhile, that work is under way to choose the best platform allowing the parliament to work remotely. 

After MP Kaimins announced that he has fallen ill with the coronavirus infection, the Saeima building has been disinfected and lawmakers are being tested for Covid-19, but so far all tests have come back negative, Murniece said.