RIGA - There are no grounds for easing the requirements for the competition for the post of State Police (VP) chief, as at least 1,000 people would then be apply for it, Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins (New Unity) said in an interview on LTV's Rita Panorama newscast this morning.
"I was concerned about the proposal made by Interior Minister Sandis Girgens (KPV LV), because his idea of relaxing the tender criteria made me suspicious of this proposal. It seemed that the minister was proposing to circumvent something, or to create conditions that would allow him to appoint a person he would personally like to see take the post," the prime minister said firmly.
He added that recent tenders have succeeded in finding professional leaders for a number of institutions, thus putting an end to the practice of persons associated with political parties choosing the people they like for key positions. "The State Police in this case is comparable to the National Armed Forces, where leaders are chosen from their respective environments," Karins added.
As reported, the government coalition has rejected Minister Girgens' proposal to select the next head of the State Police in a tender.
The interior minister said that he had proposed changing the rules for the selection of the State Police's head to increase the number of potential candidates.
"My proposal was to let the law enforcement system's employees join the competition without requiring ten-year experience in law enforcement," said Girgens.
The coalition's decision means that there will be no competition organized to fill the vacant position and the interior minister will pick an official meeting requirements for the job.
In Girgens' words, there are currently two candidates meeting these requirements - Chief of the Criminal Police Department Andrejs Grisins and Chief of the Riga Region Administration Juris Sulte.
"We will stick with the limited number of candidates and I will try to choose the best one. I am not saying that these candidates are bad, but I wanted to set more professional requirements, like staff management, the ability to sort internal resources, to plan the budget, etc.," the interior minister said.
LETA also reported, State Police Chief Ints Kuzis is stepping down from his position in February.
He said that he had been in the position at times full of challenges and has managed to deal with complicated tasks. He said that there has been much work done, planning the future of the police, and he believes that the new police should be formed by a new police chief.
Kuzis was appointed to the position in August 2011. Before that he was the chief of the Riga Regional Police.
Officially Kuzis' term in the office would expire in August 2021.
Minister Girgens last year voiced his dissatisfaction with the work of the State Police and ordered Kuzis to come up with a plan for improvements, otherwise he could lose his post.