Opposition MPs ask President Rinkēvičs to stall partnership law

A request from 34 Saeima deputies has been received at the State President's Chancellery to suspend the publication of amendments to the Notariate Law for two months in order to initiate a referendum on the introduction of the partnership institute in Latvia, the President of Latvia Edgars Rinkēvičš confirmed in an interview to Latvian Television on Thursday evening.

The President emphasized that the Saeima, by adopting the partnership framework, has taken an important and supportable step in sorting out this issue.

“This [suspension of publication of the law] will be done in accordance with the Constitution. Saeima deputies have the right to exercise their constitutional rights, and now the society, citizens of Latvia, have two months to support this idea or not,” the President said.

He reiterated that the Saeima's decision is supportive and correct, but if a third of deputies want to trigger a referendum, then “constitutionally it is in the hands of voters - it is in the hands of one-tenth of the country's citizens whether to do it or not.”

“Throughout this process, I would invite a mutually respectful discussion, these are quite sensitive issues. I hope this discussion will be held to the democratic standards of our country at the highest level without any emotional outbursts or insults between us,” the President stated.

A specific date for signing a notice to suspend the publication of the law could not yet be said.

If at least 34 members ask the President not to announce the law, the President must pause it. Then, within two months, signatures will be able to be collected for passing these laws to a referendum. At least 154,241 eligible people must sign up to hold a referendum (10% of the total number of registered voters in the country).

If the referendum takes place, the law may be repealed if at least half of the number of voters who participated in the last Saeima elections participate in it and the majority vote to repeal the law. 916,368 voters participated in the Saeima elections, a turnout of around 60%.

If the signatures of a tenth of voters have not been collected within two months regarding the handing over of the law for the referendum, then after that time the law shall be declared and come into force.

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