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Latvian parliament to search for ways to dismiss current Bank of Latvia governor

Photo: Saeima Chancellery.
Members of Latvia’s Saeima plan to search for a solution in the matter regarding the possible dismissal of the governor of the Bank of Latvia Ilmārs Rimšēvičs.

Saeima’s National Security Committee’s chair Inese Lībiņa-Egnere mentioned that after Rimšēvičs’ statement, in which he voiced no desire to step down, it is necessary to discuss possible ways to resolve the scandal. The politician had previously said that after all the voiced suspicions regarding extortion of bribes, Rimšēvičs should either step down on his own or the Saeima would have to look for other ways of relieving him of duties.

Lībiņa-Egnere explains that solutions will be sought in the near future. She also mentioned that Rimšēvičs has been presented with a security measure, prohibiting him from performing his duties. Yesterday, coalition parties conceptually voiced support for possible amendments to the Law on the Bank of Latvia that would allow suspending the authority of the bank’s governor for the duration of criminal processes, as well as establish a limit on the number of consecutive terms officials are allowed remain in their posts. Unity intends to include this legislative draft on this week’s Saeima agenda, as confirmed by Lībiņa-Egnere.

When asked if the regulation regarding suspending the authority of the governor of the Bank of Latvia would be possible to be applied retroactively, the politician said this matter is worth discussing in detail.

Deputy chairman of the National Alliance Gaidis Bērziņš believes a different solution is needed. Commenting on the possibility of applying restrictions retroactively, Bērziņš mentioned that this matter requires in-depth discussions.

Chairman of Saeima faction of the Greens and Farmers Union Augusts Brigmanis says that he council of the Bank of Latvia does its job well, and Rimšēvičs’ duties could be entrusted to the deputy chairman if need be. According to the information from Saeima’s Legal Affairs Office, the vote regarding Rimšēvičs’ dismissal may not take place because he has not submitted his resignation.

Brigmanis added that Rimšēvičs has voiced his readiness to take this situation to court. Chairman of the board of the Union of Greens and Farmers Armands Krauze mentioned that the party relies on Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis and Finance Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola to resolve the situation. Krauze admits this situation has seriously impacted the reputation of Latvia’s financial system.

As it is known, the governor of the Bank of Latvia Ilmārs Rimšēvičs is accused of bribery.

«This situation is incredibly complicated. This situation is quite possibly the most complicated one I have ever been in. I feel a great deal of support from people I don’t know, as well as my friends and family members. I have decided to not back down – I am innocent. The the people attacking my reputation have only one goal in mind – to have me step down,» said the governor of the Bank of Latvia Ilmārs Rimšēvičs during a press conference on Tuesday, 20 February.


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