Saeima deputy in dog house after drunken brawl

Artuss Kaimins, the actor-cum-DJ turned politician received a written warning from Saeima officials Monday after being embroiled in a drunken brawl, reported the BNS newswire.

The Latvian parliamentary committee on mandates, ethics and submissions decided to issue Kaimins with no more than a stiff letter for violating the lawmakers' Code of Ethics.

Kaimins, host of the top-rated and outrageous Sunu Buda (Dog House) videocast had already caused controversy by insisting on videotaping everything that goes on within Saeima by means of a small camera.

However, in a classic case of being hoist by his own petard, man of the people Kaimins was captured on videocameras bawling "Do you know who I am?!" during a confrontation with staff at the Rock Cafe No.1 bar on December 12.

Kaimins told the committee he apologized for his behavior and agreed that punishment was appropriate.

The firebrand new MP has been keeping the committee very busy with two other complaints received against him since he took up his seat on November 4 after a spectacular election campaign for the newly-founded Regional Alliance party.

The second complaint against Kaimins was made by photographer Kaspars Udris, who said that Kaimins had been trying to pick a fight with him during the Latvian annual theater award ceremony.

The third complaint has been lodged by MP Inese Laizane, a member of the nationalist conservative National Alliance and the chairwoman of the parliamentary committee on human rights and public affairs. She said that Kaimins had brought a camera to the committee meeting and would not stop filming, even though she had asked him to stop.

Kaimins is by no means the only lawmaker to find himself in hot water. Already Harmony MP Sergejs Potapkins has had his house searched in connection with a tax evasion case, Unity deputy Veiko Spolitis has received a jail sentence for drunk driving and another Unity member, Dzintars Zakis, has been linked to a vote-buying scandal which is still being investigated. He denies any involvement.

Meanwhile ZZS lawmaker and former TV strongman Raimonds Bergmanis was injured when his car collided with a tram in Riga. 

Even when remaining on the right side of the law, MPs are currently doing little to endear themselves to the public.

Within minutes of swearing to do his best as an MP on November 4 another lawmaker, Janis Junkers, quit the parliament, handing his seat to party colleague Solvita Aboltina who had been roundly rejected by voters at polls on October 4.

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