New ministerial office creation approved by Saeima

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On Thursday, December 1, the Saeima supported the draft legislation in the final reading with the intention of creating a Ministry of Climate and Energy in Latvia, as well as the appointments of deputy ministers, the Saeima Press Service said.

Before, the amendments were rejected by the Legal Affairs Committee responsible for the passage of the draft law.

52 deputies voted for amendments to the Law on State Administration Structure Law on the establishment of deputy ministers, 36 were against and no one abstained. 52 also supported the creation of a new ministry, while 45 were against it.

Prior to voting on the proposals, the Saeima debated whether amendments to the draft law could be included on the agenda of the parliament, if they did not gain the support of the Legal Affairs Committee in the past. The previous Speaker of the Saeima, current deputy Inara Mūrniece (National Alliance) said in the debate: although the draft laws have been rejected in the committee, they may be placed on the Saeima agenda, because the Parliament's previous support for the passage of the bill has a higher force than the rejection of the committee.

Amendments to the law on the creation of a new ministry were tabled by members of the new coalition. It aims to improve planning and coordination of national climate and energy policies. It is also intended to create a strong, professional, and compact public administration, says the bill's statement.

The newly established position of a deputy minister will have to be familiar with certain fields of industry and policy, which fall within the competence of a member of the Cabinet. A deputy minister will participate in government meetings with the rights of an adviser.

A deputy minister will be appointed for a specified period of time, but not longer than for the term of office of the relevant member of the Cabinet, according to the Saeima Press Service.

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