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Saeima national security committee gets new head

The Latvian parliamentary committee on national security on January 17 elected MP Inese Libina-Egnere (Unity) as its new chairperson.

Libina-Egnere was nominated to the post by Karlis Serzants (Greens/Farmers) while independent MP Ringolds Balodis proposed Janis Ruks (Latvian Alliance of Regions) as the new committee chair.

Three committee members voted in favor of Libina-Egnere - the candidate herself, Serzants and Inara Murnieca (National Alliance). Ruks voted against and Balodins abstained. As Libina-Egnere received the majority of votes, the committee did not vote on the other candidate.

Five committee members were present at the meeting. Janis Tutins (Harmony), who does not have the security clearance for access to state secrets, did not attend the meeting. Normally, lawmakers without the required security clearance are not allowed to attend the meetings of the national security committee but this time Tutins could have been present. However, he said earlier that it would be "unethical" on his part to come to the only committee meeting he was allowed to attend and to vote on the new committee chairperson.

Answering the questions by lawmakers, Libina-Egnere said her previous work experience, including in the legal committee and the parliament's Presidium, would help her to cope with the responsibilities of the chair of the national security committee.

Previously the national security committee was chaired by Solvita Aboltina, who recently laid down her lawmaker's mandate.

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