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Interior Minister Murniece resigns

  • 2011-02-18
  • TBT Staff

RIGA - Latvian Interior Minister Linda Murniece has passed in her resignation papers amid allegations of mismanagement and a series of major scandals in the country's police force.

Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis refused to accept the resignation immediately, saying that he wanted to meet with Murniece, who is currently on vacation abroad, face-to-face before allowing her to step down.

The resignation is largely seen as a result of an incident in recent weeks in which a number of police officers - including members of the elite 'alfa' task force - robbed a casino. One officer was killed and numerous people were wounded in the shoot-out that followed.

Murniece's two years as head of the interior minsitry have been plagued by scandal and criticism. Initially, she was one of the people in the party with the highest amount of negative votes. Latvian votors may cross out the names of candidates they don't like while placing votes.

She has also faced criticism for her decision to close down the police academy and for an incident in which police ransacked a journalists home last year.

President Valdis Zatlers praised the minister's decision to step down, saying it was "a positive example of people assuming political responsibility."

Murniece is due to leave her post on Feb. 28.