MP vaccination made mandatory in Latvia

On Friday, November 12, in the final reading, the Saeima approved a law requiring members of parliament and local government deputies to be vaccinated against Covid-19.

62 voted in favor of the approval of the law, seven voted against, two abstained.

It was originally intended that the Law would apply only to Saeima members, but it was extended to members of municipal councils.

The Law provides that only deputies with a Covid-19 certificate of vaccination or recovery will be able to work as of November 15. If the Member has received the opinion of a medical specialist regarding the postponement of vaccination for a specified period, they will be able to participate in the work by presenting a negative Covid-19 test.

The payment of the monthly salary and expenses will be suspended for any Saeima deputy who will not be entitled to participate in the work of the parliament. It will be renewed from the day when the deputy has presented a certificate to the Mandate, Ethics and Submission Commission of the Saeima. 

A total of 91 of 100 Saeima members have a Covid-19 certificate, whereas in the municipalities, 696 out of 758 deputies have a certificate.

If the deputy of a municipal council has not obtained and presented a certificate confirming the fact of vaccination or illness by 15 November, the powers of the deputy will be suspended by a decision of the council. The next-in-line candidate from party lists who has obtained a certificate will take his place during the suspension of the term of office of a deputy in accordance with the procedures specified in the Municipal Council Election Law. 

If the substituted deputy obtains a certificate, he or she will have to present it to the municipal election commission within a week and submit an application to the chairman of the council for the resumption of the deputy's duties.

The law will enter into force on the day following its promulgation and be in force until 1 July 2022.

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