Saeima continues to debate contentious regional reform

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Latvia's parliament, the Saeima, started a second day of debate on the government's regional administrative reform program March 6 following a marathon session a day earlier.

With 316 separate amendments to work through in a bill that runs to 115 pages, it looks like being another lengthy day of debate, which can be followed live at the Saeima website.

In all probablility more days of debate will be required to allow the bill to pass. 

The bill provides for the creation of 40 municipalities in time for the 2021 local elections instead of the current 119 local government districts. The government argues this will make for a more efficient and rational system of local government. Critics argue that rural districts will lose their voices and autonomy, with power concentrated in urban centers.

Protests against the reforms on Thursday passed off peacefully.


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