Latvija in brief - 2011-10-20

  • 2011-10-19

President Andris Berzins decided on Oct. 10 to reinstate the work of the Constitutional Law Commission, which operates under the president’s wing, reports The Latvian Institute. The membership of the commission will remain the same, and it will be chaired by Egils Levits, a justice on the European Court of Justice and a professor at the Riga School of Law. Other members of the commission are professionals with practical experience, authority and scholarly work, including work related to an international view, including Ineta Ziemele, a justice on the European Court of Human Rights and a professor at the Riga School of Law. The president has reinstated the Constitutional Law Commission to get support for the legislative functions that are enshrined for the resident in the Constitution, to offer views about how constitutional norms should be interpreted and improved, as well as to facilitate scholarly research and qualified discussions about important issues of the law. The commission will also have a fundamental role to play in evaluating planned constitutional amendments.

Unity leader Solvita Aboltina was re-elected as Saeima chairwoman on Oct. 18, reports LETA. Fifty-one MPs voted for her, 44 voted against. Forty-one Saeima members voted for the other candidate, Harmony Center’s Andrejs Klementjevs, as 54 voted against him. The candidacy of Zatlers Reform Party (ZRP) leader, ex-President Valdis Zatlers, was voted down twice when he was the sole candidate for the vacant Saeima speaker’s post. Aboltina was born on Feb. 19, 1963, is married with two children. She was educated at the University of Latvia’s School of Law. Aboltina was voted into the 8th, 9th and 10th Saeimas, and served as Justice Minister from December 2004 to April 2006. She was the deputy Saeima chairwoman of the 9th Saeima and chairwoman of the 10th Saeima. Aboltina is board chairwoman of New Era political party. After New Era merged with Civic Union and Society For Different Politics, Aboltina was elected chairwoman of the alliance. 99 MPs participated in the vote.

President Andris Berzins says he is skeptical about the integrity and reliability of the six MPs who have dropped out of Zatlers’ Reform Party (ZRP), as the outgoing Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis (Unity) said after a meeting with Berzins on Oct. 18, reports LETA. Dombrovskis, who is in charge of forming a new coalition, said that the coalition structure now had to be improved. Several solutions are possible; they are being discussed by the pending coalition parties. The prime minister said that Unity was open to cooperation with the Union of Greens and Farmers, although ZRP strongly opposes this move. However, Harmony Center cannot be invited to join the government as All for Latvia!-For Fatherland and Freedom/LNNK is opposed to working with them.