Deputy cedes mandate as suspect in tax-dodge

Saeima member Regīna Ločmele-Luņova (Harmony) has decided to relinquish her parliamentary mandate now that she has been named a suspect in a wide-ranging five-year long scheme to avoid taxes, she announced Tuesday on her Facebook profile.

“I’m an open and emotional person with an easily wounded heart, just a woman in the end. But I must be courageous and responsible in my decisions as a member of Harmony and your deputy,” she posted.

“There are too many important votes in Saeima at stake to think just of the fate of my mandate and prevent Harmony from having perhaps the swaying vote in approving a key figure like the General Prosecutor, Supreme Court Chief Justice or the President,” she wrote.

She urged her fellow party members remaining in Saeima to “hold out during the coming battle” and “do the utmost to protect our voters’ interests,” and vowed herself to continue working with the Zolitūde disaster victims’ group Zolitūde 21.11.

She has previously denied any involvement through previous business activities in the scheme currently under investigation, which involved over 20 firms and 30 persons legalizing more than €3.6 million in illegal cash flows, evading thereby more than €700,000 in tax obligations. Rīga Mayor and Harmony party leader Nils Ušakovs spoke out in her full support when she was named as a suspect in the wide-ranging case under investigation by the Financial Police.

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