If Saeima does not amend Constitution by March 31, Zatlers will propose dissolving parliament

RIGA, Jan 14 (LETA) – If Saeima does not endorse amendments to the Constitution by March 31, President Valdis Zatlers will propose dissolving the parliament, as Zatlers informed reporters today.

Zatlers has concluded that the reason for the rioting in Riga’s Old Town yesterday night is that the people have no confidence in the government and Saeima, which is why Zatlers will give three tasks for Saeima and the government each.

The first task is for Saeima to pass amendments to the Constitution, which would give the nation the right to propose dissolving the parliament, by March 31. If this does not happen, Zatlers will propose dissolving the existing 9th Saeima. Zatlers said that he would submit to Saeima the final version of his proposals for amending the Constitution in one week.

Second, Saeima must amend the laws on elections in accordance with Zatlers’ proposals, to eliminate the principle of the so-called “locomotives” or the election tickets being headed by popular personalities, and to ban Saeima members from quitting their political parties and joining others in between Saeima elections.

The third task for Saeima is to set up a supervisory council that will supervise the work on an economic recovery plan for Latvia and the utilization of international loan for Latvia.

Zatlers will also give three tasks for the government: in one week, the government must offer a clear government reorganization model and a plan to reform government institutions.

As the second task, Zatlers mentioned that he had already spoken of the need to have new faces in the government, which must be chosen according to the principle of professionalism, and the new ministers must have good command of foreign languages. Zatlers said that perhaps the ruling coalition should be expanded, and the so-called reconciliation government established.

The third task for the government is to appoint a new head for the Corruption Prevention Bureau as soon as possible. The process of choosing the next chief of the bureau is taking much too long, said Zatlers.

Only by implementing these tasks will the government and Saeima be able to calm the people down, said Zatlers.