To avoid necessity to decide on extending state of emergency new Covid-19 legislation must be given status of 'great urgency'

  • 2020-06-03
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - To avoid a situation where lawmakers have to decide on extending the current state of emergency in Latvia, new Covid-19-related legislation must be given the status of "great urgency', so it can take effect by the date the state of emergency is supposed to end. 

Last week, the government approved and sent to Saeima a number of bills providing a new Covid-19-related regulation, which should come into effect as soon as the state of emergency ends on June 9. 

The draft legislation has already been endorsed by the responsible Saeima committees.

For these bills to take effect before June 9, they have to be promulgated next Monday at the latest. This can only be ensured if Saeima gives the draft legislation the status of 'great urgency', which is the informal term for a procedure where the parliament recognizes a bill as urgent by at least two thirds of votes. The president then has three days to promulgate the bill. 

Today, the prime minister's parliamentary secretary Evika Sviklina (New Unity) told the Saeima Defense, Interior and Corruption Prevention Committee that Saeima should give the 'great urgency' status to the new bill on the Covid-19 crisis management in order to avoid the necessity to decide on extending the state of emergency. 

Saeima is currently at work on draft legislation that will enable the government to manage the Covid-19 epidemic and related issued after the state of emergency has ended. The government plans to call the state of emergency off on June 9.