On Friday, 12 November, the Saeima adopted in the second and final reading and as a matter of urgency a new Law on Temporary Additional Requirements for the Work of Members of the Saeima and Local Government Councils.
Starting from 15 November, a Member of the Saeima may only participate in the work of the Parliament if they have presented an interoperable COVID‑19 vaccination or recovery certificate. Members of the Saeima who, according to the opinion of a clinical university hospital expert or doctors’ council, must temporarily delay receiving the vaccine may continue performing their duties upon presentation of an interoperable certificate showing a negative COVID‑19 test result.
Monthly salary and compensation payments will be suspended for the MPs who will not have the right to engage in the work of the Parliament. The payments will resume starting from the day when the MP has presented the certificate to the Mandate, Ethics and Submissions Committee of the Saeima.
The Presidium of the Saeima must assess the need to maintain the restrictions set by this Law at least once every two months.
The requirement to present a COVID‑19 vaccination or recovery certificate also applies to members of local government councils. If a member of the local government council has not received and presented a certificate of vaccination or recovery by 15 November, their mandate will be suspended upon a decision made by the relevant local government council. During the suspension of their mandate, the member will be temporarily replaced by the next candidate in line who can present the COVID‑19 certificate, according to the procedures set out in the Law on the Election of Local Government Councils.
If the member whose mandate has been temporarily suspended obtains the certificate, they must present it to the Local Government Election Commission and submit an application to the Chair of the local government council regarding the resumption of the member’s duties within one week. As soon as this information is disclosed in a council meeting, the mandate of the replacement member will end and the temporarily suspended member will resume their duties.
The temporary requirements for Members of the Saeima and local government councils have been set with the aim of ensuring actions that are aligned with the interests of public health and safety during the spread of the COVID‑19 infection.
The Law was necessary to improve public trust in the COVID‑19 infection control policy in Latvia, to show solidarity with other public and local government institutions, and to improve trust in the work of these institutions, including the Saeima, emphasised Juris Rancāns, Chair of the Defence, Internal Affairs and Corruption Prevention Committee, which is responsible for the progress of the Draft Law in the Saeima.
The Law will enter into effect on the day following its promulgation and will remain in force until 1 July 2022.
Saeima Press Service