Saeima entrusts Prosecutor General with second term

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Members of Saeima voted overwhelmingly in favor of reconfirming Prosecutor General Ēriks Kalnmeiers for a second term at its regular plenary session Thursday.

Only one MP abstained, while none voted against, so Kalnmeiers stayed in his post with the support of 76 deputies present.

His candidacy won the convincing approval of the parliamentary Legal Affairs Committee and most politicians. Current Supreme Court Chief Justice Ivars Bičkovičs, whose reconfirmation vote is also on the Saeima agenda, nominated Kalnmeiers to stay at his post after the end of his first five-year term in July.

This was the first time Saeima confirmed a Prosecutor General in an open vote since the law was amended.

After the vote Kalnmeiers told Latvian Radio he was surprised by the unanimity of support for him in parliament. He said his top priority would be “not to allow the work of prosecuting investigators to worsen” in light of government plans to cut the budget and its leaving domestic security out of its own list of priorities.

“I was surprised at the number of votes in favor, I hadn’t expected such great support. I think the deputies have appreciated my political neutrality, the work I’ve done according to the law, no more, no less,” said the Prosecutor General.

He added that while high-ranking officials usually speak of exalted goals when vying to keep their posts, he had chosen to “keep my feet on the ground, not my head in the clouds.”

Kalnmeiers rose to the position after Saeima surprisingly rejected Jānis Maizītis for his second term as General Prosecutor. Maizītis now heads the Constitutional Protection Bureau, Latvia’s state intelligence service.

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