Showboating MP shown the door

Take note – story published 7 years and 10 months ago

A member of the Latvian parliament, the Saeima, on Monday lost his seat for making an inaccurate disclosure of his financial interests.

Dainis Liepiņš of the opposition Latvia's Regional Alliance (LRA) political party had his mandate withdrawn after the criminal department of the Supreme Court confirmed the businessman-turned-lawmaker had made a false declaration of his financial assets.

A fine of €1,080 should also be paid, the court confirmed.

Having lost his appeal against an earlier court decision, Liepiņš - who was apparently unaware he had lost his mandate until informed of the decision by Latvian Television - immediately had his status as a lawmaker removed.

LRA will now need to select a replacement to serve until the next scheduled elections in 2018. Liepins could in theory stand at the next elections himself as his criminal record will only last for a year.

Liepiņš, elected in 2014, was a bullish figure in Saeima. As previously reported by LSM, his most notable action as an MP was holding up parliamentary business for a week when he refused to leave the chamber despite being asked to do so by the speaker in connection with the same case.

His actions saw the legislature grind to a halt as he showboated for the cameras despite the fact he sat on the Saeima's mandate and ethics committee.

He remained unapologetic on Monday, saying on Twitter it was "naive to expect justice from the Supreme Court" and accusing it in turn of financial impropriety and political motivations.

In typically over-the-top style he then accused Latvia of being a "totalitarian regime that closely follows the traditions of the communist nomenclatura," seemingly oblivious to the fact he had been elected in a free and fair vote and simply fell foul of the very well-established rules about MPs making a full public disclosure of their financial assets - not something Soviet deputies were ever asked to do.

The ruling is a further embarassment for the LRA after one of its other more colorful  MPs, Artuss Kaimins, split from it to form his own party. 

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