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Health minister changes mind again, decides to keep two jobs

Health Minister and Saeima member of parliament Guntis Belevics (Greens and Farmers Union) on Monday decided not to relinquish his MP's mandate, having previously signalled he might do so. 

Hi change of hearts came after a meeting with the board of his party which urged Belevics to keep his mandate because otherwise this could be perceived as "cowardice or trying to shun responsibility," Belevics told the media after the meeting.

Belevics received support from the Green Party's board for the work he has done - which is also the reason why some people dislike the minister, noted Green Party's board chairman board Edgars Tavars. The Green Party urged Belevics to keep his mandate and also use it to explain his actions in Saeima.

As reported, Belevics has considered laying down his MP's mandate because it would have eased the process of appealing the charges made by the Corruption Prevention Bureau (KNAB) regarding possible conflicts of interest in some of the decisions he has made.

Maintaining his mandate means the minister retains his parliamentary immunity unless parliament votes to waive it.

As LETA reported, KNAB has once again requested Saeima to allow Belevics be held legally responsible for his actions. At the same time, the bureau has launched another probe into Belevics' activities.

As KNAB press representative Laura Dusa told LETA, this time around, the KNAB suspects Belevics of another conflict of interest involving his son Arturs Belevics, who the minister appointed to the Pharmaceutical Consultative Council on May 6, but later, on June 9, excluded him from the council.

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