Still no security clearance for Justice Minister

More than six months after taking office, Justice Minister Baiba Broka still will not be given access to state secrets, a spokesperson for the Prosecutor General's office said Monday, prompting LTV to report that she is set to resign.

Speaking to the LETA news agency press officer Inese Aunina confirmed that Prosecutor General Eriks Kalnmeiers will not overrule a decision by Latvia's intelligence service, the Constitution Protection Bureau (SAB), that Broka cannot be given security clearance to deal with classified material, despite the very obvious need for such clearance given her job as Justice Minister.

Broka's lack of security clearance – for reasons which have never been clearly specified but which SAB chief Janis Maizitis has described as “very serious” – has been an issue ever since she took office on January 22.

As a member of parliament with the nationalist National Alliance bloc, which prides itself on a tough law-and-order stance, Broka's situation has been politically embarrassing as well as frequently absurd with the Justice Minister having to leave meetings at which her ministerial colleagues discuss classified material.

Broka appealed SAB's decision to the Prosecutor General on June 18.

However with the controversy having already dragged on for months and with less than three months until parliamentary elections, a resignation would give a fresh headache to Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma following the resignation of Health Minister Ingrida Circene on July 7.

Tipped as a potential political star after running a strong campaign that saw her claim second place in the race to be Riga mayor in 2013, Broka's star has been on the wane ever since her security clearance was withheld and she has stated that she will not take part in October's elections.

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