Saeima moves fast on President's speedy security laws

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Latvia's parliament on Thursday waved through legislative amendments proposed by President Raimonds Vejonis in a bid to make Latvia's response to a crisis situation quicker. 

The proposals, which streamline decision-making at the highest levels of government, were passed to committee for consideration before they are considered again by deputies.

Vejonis' amendments affect the National Security Law, National Armed Forces Law, and Cabinet of Ministers' Rules of Procedure.

The president submitted the amendments to Saeima following meetings with members of Saeima groups, which have expressed support for the initiative. The amendments mostly deal with various institutions and authorities' powers in case Latvia comes under serious threat.

As reported, the amendments stipulate that, should Latvia come under serious threat, the National Armed Forces can immediately launch self-defense measures - without waiting for an order from the commander in chief.

The amendments to the National Security Law include the definition of wartime, stating that the commander in chief may take full command of the Armed Forces if the Cabinet of Ministers is unable to perform its functions and there are urgent decisions to be taken concerning national defense.

The amendments to the National Armed Forces law are meant to achieve efficient cooperation and information exchange between the government and Armed Forces' command in wartime.

According to the amendments to the Cabinet of Ministers' Rules of Procedure, assembling all the Cabinet ministers for a meeting may be problematic in a state of emergency, therefore the amendments propose a reduced quorum consisting of the prime minister and any three ministers.

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