MEP asks court to rule on anti-Soviet Saeima rule

Member of the European parliament and leader of the Latvian Russian Union party, Tatjana Zdanoka has turned to the Constitutional Court with a petition contesting restrictions on Soviet and communist activists' participation in Saeima elections, LETA reported October 20.

Cabinet approves enlarged Ukraine observer mission

On 17 October, the Latvian Cabinet of Ministers made a decision on the appointment of two Latvian civilian experts to the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a release.

Economics minister Ašeradens will stay on for a while

Economics Minister Arvils Ašeradens, who announced last week he is stepping down from his position in an attempt to revive the fortunes of his Vienotiba (Unity) political party, will in fact stay on for a while -- probably until the end of November. 

Saskaņa quietly ditches Putin party agreement

In a significant development October 9, Riga mayor and Saskaņa (Harmony) party leader Nils Ušakovs said his party was cancelling its long-time cooperation agreement with Vladimir Putin's United Russia party.

 

Saeima moves on protection of national anthem

The Latvian parliament, the Saeima, on October 5 gave preliminary approval to a law that would outlaw sarcastic, satirical or potentially even criminally tuneless renditions of the Latvian national anthem, Dievs, svētī Latviju.

Latvia to play nuclear role in 2018

With a good deal of the world's attention focused on the nuclear stand-off between North Korea and the United States, Latvia is set to play a supporting role next year when it takes over the chairmanship of the Nuclear Suppliers Group, an international organization that aims to regulate the import and export of nuclear materials around the globe to prevent nuclear weapons proliferation.

Riga Conference ends, panels now online

The annual Riga Conference wrapped up September 30 with a 'Gala reception' in the historic Small Guild in Riga's Old Town, but while the guests enjoyed the hospitality, the organizers of the two-day talking shop were busy clearing up at the national library and putting the whole thing online. 

Another new political party formed

Another new political party has been formed ahead of parliamentary elections in a year's time, the LETA newswire reported September 22.

India asked to open embassy

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Edgars Rinkēvičs, met with Sushma Swarajthe Minister of External Affairs of India 18 September, to discuss political and economic cooperation and ask that India open a Latvian embassy.

Initiative aims to remove parliamentary 'abstention' votes

On September 18 a public initiative signed by 11,200 Latvian residents will be submitted to the parliament, said public initiative site Manabalss.lv representative Annija Emersone. It aims to eliminate the unusual practice of allowing Saeima lawmakers to abstain from voting, in addition to the option of simply not participating in a given vote.

President and government on collision course over citizenship

Latvian President Raimonds Vejonis and the current government were put on a collision course September 12 with the president submitting proposals to parliament even though a member of the three-party ruling coalition said they would veto the proposals. 

Attention, s'il vous plaît!

Latvia's ambassador to France, Imants Liegis, has joined forces with his colleagues representing Estonia and Lithuania in writing to renowned French newspaper Le Monde.

Daugavpils mayor toppled

Councilors at Daugavpils on September 2 voted for dismissing Andrejs Elksnins, the mayor of Latvia's second largest city. Later that same day Rihards Eigims (Our Party) was made the new mayor with ten votes to five. 

New ambassador in place in Germany

Latvia has a new ambassador in place in key partner Germany after Inga Skujiņa presented her credentials to President Frank-Walter Steinmeier on 29 August in Berlin.

Daugavpils council moves to sack mayor

Three Our Party councilors at Daugavpils, Latvia's second-largest city, signed a new coalition agreement with the Latgale Party, reports LETA. Furthermore, councilors have also asked to convene an extraordinary meeting on ousting incumbent city mayor Andrejs Elksnins.