Finance supervisor gets new candidate

  • 2000-10-19
  • TBT staff
RIGA - Following the Latvian parliament's refusal to appoint a politician as the country's chief finance supervisor, Uldis Cerps, president of the Riga Stock Exchange, was nominated the head of the Finance and Capital Market Commission Oct. 12.

The Bank of Latvia president Einars Repse and Minister of Finance Gundars Berzins signed a letter to Parliament suggesting Cerps be named as the yet-to-be- formed commissions' chief and Janis Brazovskis, the current head supervisor of the commercial banks, as his deputy.

"We hope these candidates will be supported by the (Latvian parliament)," Latvia's chief financiers told journalists.

The trouble started a month ago, when Parliament voted down ex-finance minister and active politician for the government's People's Party, Edmunds Krastins for the position, considered a top job by its influence over Latvia's financial sector. Politically marked persons should not manage supervisory institutions, Krastins' critics argued.

"We can say that we have found non-party and non-political candidates," Berzins stressed. "Cerps is not related to political parties and Brazovskis, although he has entered the Latvia's Way party, has never been an active member." Both expressed their hope that Parliament will approve these nominations. The vote can be held Oct. 26 at the earliest, according to Berzins.

Latvian PM Andris Berzins, who actively campaigned for Krastins in Parliament on Sept. 14, now supports the new candidates and regards them as professionals and "strong people," the PM's press spokesman said. The Finance and Capital Market Commission will consume the present supervisory institutions of banking, insurance and securities' market. The new institution will begin its work in July 2001.

Parliament's vote on Krastins canceled some alleged agreements on splitting the two new jobs - one of the commission and another - the yet-to-be-created regulator of public services, between the Latvian political "giants," the People's Party and Latvia's Way, whose member Ivars Godmanis was eager to take the office. Now, Parliament stymied the freshly adopted law on public service regulators, sending it back for repeated review Oct. 12 under demand of the leftist opposition.

The opposition believes that great concentration of power in the hands of public service regulators is inconsistent with power distribution principles and may threaten the national economy in case the body in question makes some mistake in decision-making.