Minority convention finally passed

  • 2005-06-01
  • By TBT staff
Intense pressure from the executive branch and a 13-hour session were needed to convince Latvian lawmakers to ratify the Framework Convention on National Minorities.

Deliberations dragged on after repeated attempts by the right-wing For Fatherland and Freedom party to obstruct a vote. Party representatives left the foreign affairs committee meeting and paralyzed passage of the convention for lack of quorum. Finally, however, the legislation moved forward after two other members of the ruling coalition were added to the committee.

The convention was ratified after 64 MPs voted in favor. For Fatherland and Freedom voted against, as did Leopolds Ozolins of the Greens and Farmers Union and Paulis Klavins from New Era. Minority-orientated parties chose to abstain from voting, as did one member of Latvia's First Party.

Latvia was the last post-communist EU member state to pass the international agreement.