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Politologist comments whether Vējoņis’ authority is at risk or not

Filips Rajevskis/youtube.com.
Saeima’s vote in which Latvian President Raimonds Vējoņis’ proposal on the status of non-citizens’ children was not pushed forward was as though a strike against the president’s authority, comments Filips Rajevskis.

The politologist added that it is not worth to look for winners in this vote, because the coalition and opposition are in the roles of losers in this case. The president is the biggest loser in this case, however. As an experienced politician, he should have known better than to push this matter through the Saeima. The claim that Vējoņis only had an interest in merely raising this issue and then allowing it to disappear after one vote is questionable.

«Such a legislative draft would require a referendum, but it is unlikely Vējoņis will be brave enough to initiate it,» Rajevskis says.

On Thursday, 21 September, the Saeima declined Latvian President Raimonds Vējoņis’ submitted legislative draft that proposed stopping giving non-citizen status to newborns.

The president’s proposed legislative draft offers stopping the practice of providing non-citizen status to children born in Latvia after 1 June 2018. It is mentioned in the annotation that approval of this draft would consolidate and assist with future development of Latvia’s society.

«Latvia is a democratic and modern European country, and we need to put effort into development and strengthening of Latvia. Latvia’s education system is fully capable of preparing and raising honest and responsible people who are Latvian patriots and have a strong connection to Latvia,» said Vējoņis.

Changes proposed by the legislative draft would have applied to approximately 50 to 80 newborns a year. In 2016, non-citizen status was provided to 52 children.

According to data of a survey performed by SKDS in May 2017, 76% of Latvian residents support the idea of children born in Latvia to be given citizenship at birth unless parents want to give their children another country’s citizenship, said the president.

This initiative also caused conflicting opinions within the coalition. National Alliance had previously announced its intention to not support the president’s proposal. Members of the alliance also mentioned that consensus among partners is needed for this matter to progress.

Four Unity Saeima faction members who now represent ‘Kustība Par!’ party – Lolita Čigāne, Andrejs Judins, Aleksejs Loskutovs and Ints Dālderis – have expressed their readiness to support the president’s proposal.


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