Melbarde doubles up to fill Justice Ministry vacancy

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Culture Minister Dace Melbarde will assume the responsibilities of Justice Minister as soon as Baiba Broka has finished her final day in the position, newswire BNS learned from Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma’s spokeswoman Džeina Tamuļēviča Tuesday.

Broka handed in her resignation as Justice Minister after the General Prosecutor’s office ruled Monday to uphold the Constitutional Protection Bureau (SAB) decision to deny her national security clearance.

While formally eligible to continue in the Cabinet position despite the lack of clearance to access potentially sensitive information, Broka found herself barred from taking part in any government agenda items involving state secrets.

Tamuļēvica pointed out that Broka’s last day on the job will be August 5, thus leaving the seat open for Melbarde to fill until a replacement is nominated and approved.

The move still leaves the government short of two ministers with the Health Minister's ost still vacant following the resignation of Ingride Circene on July 7.

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