Government okays signing Istanbul Convention

On Tuesday the government greenlighted Welfare Minister Jānis Reirs (Unity) to sign the Istanbul Convention against Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence, which was previously criticized by the Justice Ministry, reported LSM's Latvian-language service Tuesday. 

Latvia will add a declaration to the documents, allowing to introduce the convention in a way that it fits the Latvian Constitution.

Several NGOs, represented at the government meeting by Iluta Lāce, head of the Marta Resource Center for Women, urged the ministers to support signing the convention, and called into question Justice Minister Dzintars Rasnačs' suitability for office.

While ten other NGOs, some of which have ties to Christian organizations, presented a letter supporting the stance of the Justice Ministry and called for not signing the convention.

Latvia's President Raimonds Vējonis told LNT's "900 seconds" Tuesday that Latvia should sign the Istanbul Convention and that the Justice Ministry has "tangled up" regarding the situation.

Vējonis said that "politics have been mixed up with the judicial" and said that "in a way, it discredits our legal system".

Vējonis said that the Justice Ministry has to work as an independent institution and that it's unacceptable to involve politics in its work.

He said that there should be consequences to Rasnačs' actions, however casting doubt on the possibility of Rasnačs' resignation, saying that it could spell the fall of the ruling coalition.

PM Māris Kučinskis (Greens) on Friday expressed support for the convention. On Monday he said that the debacle surrounding the Istanbul Convention is not sufficient to demand the minister's resignation. 

Last week the Justice Ministry published advice by a lawyer employed by the ministry to offer expert opinion on whether Latvia should sign the international agreement designed to help protect women from domestic violence.

The legal opinion recommends that Latvia does not sign the Istanbul Convention against Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence because to do so would conflict with statements made in the preamble to the Latvian constitution.

8 comments
Janis
Also, could you guys use the 'updated' tag when you change an article or headline? It would be most appreciated.
LSM_eng
Noted, Janis. We often do, but neglected to do so in this case.
Tomass
I just wanted to point out an inaccuracy contained in the article- Uldis Augulis is not the Latvian Welfare Minister, Janis Reirs is.
LSM_eng
Thank you Tomass, it has now been corrected.
Janis
Have you ever read the English version of the VL page? They brag about the party being started to protest against a student art exhibition. Evidently their delicate sensibilities were offended by what they saw as student artists poking fun at Ulmanis. It became clear to me that they were going for low hanging fruit when Dzintars was protesting shirtless in front of Saeima with 'Abrene' written across his chest in blood like red script against signing the border treaty with Russia that gave them Abrene. What good would a totally Russified border town be to Latvia? It would just be more voters for pro-Russian parties. Amazing to see a politician protesting against something that is in their parties best interest.
Janis
Judging by the Twitter accounts of various members of the NA it appears that they are finally openly admitting that that their opposition is based in their fear and hatred of homosexuals.
savējais
NA will only gain supporters in next elections like it always has done in previous elections. In every other WEB pages I read mostly comments were people support NA view. Ordinary people are with NA and that is a fact.
Klāvs
Yup, also seems like besides lifting nationalism (not meaning it in a bad way unless it goes to extreme-nationalism) they don't have much going on for them. Their intellectual level as a party is pretty low.
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