Supreme Court Chief Justice gets second term

Saeima voted Thursday to approve Judge Ivars Bičkovičs to a second term in the Supreme Court’s Chief Justice seat, with 53 members in favor, 23 against and 4 abstaining.

The vote proved to be anything but unanimous even within the ruling coalition party factions in parliament. Unity MP Inese Lībiņa-Egnere recalled Bičkovičs’ first election to head the judicial branch seven years ago, when he received 63 yes-votes and 35 nays. This time Unity chose not to support his candidacy, despite a formal recommendation from the Supreme Court’s Plenum to renew him at the post.

Opposition party Regional Alliance deputy Juris Viļums remarked that his faction objected to his reappointment, believing Bičkovičs to be unprepared for implementing judicial reforms.

From the Heart for Latvia opposition MP Ringolds Balodis and Harmony deputy Andrejs Elksniņš pointed out that the rejection of his candidacy would amount to legislative intervention in the judicial branch, and therefore had voted for him to stay.

Bičkovičs will take the oath to continue on as Supreme Court Chief Justice on June 16.


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