MP escapes Saeima censure over «clever Jews» outburst

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Karlis Serzants, a Greens and Farmers Union member of parliament who caused negative headlines about Latvia around the world following a radio interview in which he said a group of "clever" Jews were working to undermine Latvia, avoided censure Wednesday by his parliamentary peers. 

The Saeima mandate and ethics committee ruled that Serzants had not breached any parliamentary rules with his outburst.

It marks a second victory for Serzants after he also avoided being removed from his position as deputy chairman of the Saeima's influential National Security Committee after he voted for himself to retain his position and Chairwoman Solvita Aboltina (who is also chairwoman of the Unity political party) abstained from the vote.

Following that decision Serzants did say he recognized that his comments on March 10 had been inappropriate and claimed he was not an anti-Semite. He also said he was "ready to apologize" for his comments, to "all the world's Jews".

Both motions against Serzants were made by Martins Bondars of the Latvia's Regional Alliance party who pointed to the fact that Serzants had made no attempt to retract his comments or apologize for a month - in fact, until Bondars reported him - despite the fact his comments had dragged Latvia's name through the mud in international media. 

Serzants continues to serve on the parliamentary group for cooperation with the Israeli parliament.

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