Saeima amends the Law envisaging social benefits of former Presidents of Latvia

(05.12.2013.)

On Thursday, 5 December, the Saeima adopted in the third and final reading amendments to the Law on Ensuring Activity of the President of Latvia, which envisage changes in the amount of social benefits provided to former Presidents of Latvia.

The revised Law stipulates that the state no longer has to provide apartments for Latvia’s former Presidents; thus, they are free to choose their living quarters. The amendments also increase the monthly pension for former Presidents by setting it at 85%, instead of the previous 50%, of the incumbent President’s monthly salary. 

The state will continue to provide a car for former Presidents; however, it will not be permitted for the purchasing or leasing value of the vehicle to exceed twice the value of a vehicle to which an official of a government institution is entitled. This rule will also apply when the cars of former Presidents are replaced.

The amendments set forth that a former President of Latvia will not receive a pension while serving as a member of the Saeima or the Cabinet of Ministers or as a parliamentary secretary. Furthermore, if the position held by the former President entitles him/her to a service vehicle, he/she will have to choose which car to use. 

The Saeima also supported the proposal that after the death of a former President, his/her surviving spouse or children will have the right to continue living in the state-provided apartment for a period not longer than one year. 

The former President will have the right to decline partially or fully the benefits to which he/she is entitled.

In accordance with the principle of legitimate expectation, the amendments stipulate that changes in the benefits, including the increased pension, will not apply to Presidents of Latvia whose tenure has ended prior to the adoption of these amendments. Likewise, the increase in pension will not apply to the incumbent President of Latvia.

The amendments also stipulate that the Chancery of the President of Latvia, taking into consideration the nature of the event and the agenda of the incumbent President, must allow a former President to use representation rooms at the presidential residence. 

Regarding the acceptance of gifts, from now on the President of Latvia will be subject to regulations contained in the Law on Prevention of Conflict of Interests in Activities of Public Officials.

It will be possible to store gifts of historical, scientific, artistic or other cultural significance at the Latvian National Museum of Art, the National History Museum of Latvia and the National Library of Latvia. 

The amendments also enable the termination of employment contracts with the Head of the Chancery of the President, Deputy Heads of the Chancery and advisors to the President of Latvia at any time without indicating specific reasons. The decision to conclude or terminate such employment contracts will be regarded as a political one.

 



Saeima Press Service

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