Parliamentary secretary dismissed after refugee disagreements

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Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma has orally informed Parliamentary Secretary Rihards Kols about his dismissal. The decision came after Kols had signed the motion, put forward by the opposition, to call an extraordinary session of the Saeima about the refugee matter.

Kols said, "[Prime Minister] Straujuma literally said to me - you're fired." He also said that he hasn't seen a written notice, a decision about his dismissal, or any appropriate argumentation for it.

"I would ask Straujuma to weigh out whether this decision wasn't rushed. Perhaps it was taken at an emotional moment," said Kols.

This comes after an extraordinary session was called in which the matter about accepting refugees was to be reviewed. The session failed because of a lack of a quorum. Even though 68 MPs attended, members from the Greens and Farmers Union and Unity didn't vote so a quorum of 51 MPs wasn't reached.

The latest developments have caused a stir up within the coalition.

After the session, Kārlis Šadurskis (Unity) told journalists that the National Alliance - a coalition party - has "carelessly played with the state" by signing for starting the session, and that PM Laimdota Straujuma should dismiss Rihards Kols (National Alliance), the Parliamentary Secretary.

Meanwhile, Raivis Dzintars (National Alliance) called the instigated lack of a quorum "political hooliganism", implying that the MPs present from the other coalition parties didn't vote intentionally.

The session was to request the Cabinet of Ministers to work out a plan about accepting refugees to Latvia, about housing and integrating them into the Latvian society. The plan should account for the costs and the funding for integrating and housing the refugees for a period of three years. 

It was also proposed to requeste that an extraordinary session should be held by July 14th, in which the Prime Minister should present a report about the refugee matter.

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