Saeima speaker argues against accusations of not monitoring debate

The Saeima Speaker is not a judge, said speaker Daiga Mieriņa (Union of Greens and Farmers) in an interview with Latvian Television November 15, commenting on the criticism of her for not monitoring the Saeima debates.

The Saeima's Mandate, Ethics, and Submissions Committee will look at a case submitted by the National Alliance, in which deputy Ainārs Šlesers (Latvia First) is criticized for speaking against a specific proposal after applying to speak “for” a draft decision. Mieriņa, as the Speaker of the Saeima, is accused of not monitoring the debate sufficiently and not preventing violation of the Saeima order.

Mieriņa emphasized that every deputy has the right to express his or her opinion in the Saeima. “And he cannot be condemned for the opinion he expresses in the Saeima from the tribune. And so it should remain, “she said.

The Speaker explained that in the particular case, one Member was allowed to speak “for” the bill, the other “against.” But the rhetoric was said to have been one “hard to untangle.”

“The President of the Saeima is not a judge. Of course, one presides over some arrangements to be put in place at the meeting. But to evaluate each Member's speech immediately on the ground and say “no, that's right, that's wrong” … that's why every Member has a responsibility in front of their electorate,” Mieriņš said.

According to her, the Saeima order roll has not been violated in this particular case. At the same time, she admitted it hasn't been a good tone.

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