Anti-graft police detain Central Election Commission head

The Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau (KNAB) detained the President of the Central Election Commission (CVK) Kristīne Bērziņa last week, according to information from LETA on November 29.

The official was released soon after the arrest, but the KNAB has asked Saeima to ensure her dismissal. The Saeima should soon decide on the new composition of the CVK, and Bērziņa has already announced that she does not want to apply for a second term.

Bērziņa is detained in criminal proceedings for a procurement at CVK.

KNAB has carried out procedural activities in the “SOAAR” information technology company, which has won major procurements of CVK and other public authorities in recent years.

The information available on the website of the Procurement Monitoring Bureau shows that the company won the procurement ordered by the CVK at the beginning of this year for the development of the electoral management system, where the amount of the contract was EUR 963,515. Other major procurements for the election management systems in municipalities and maintenance of the system have been won in recent years, too.

In the coming days, it is planned to take a decision on the request of the KNAB to suspend Kristīne Bērziņa from office, said Saeima Speaker Edvards Smiltēns (United List).  Smiltēns said that he was aware of the “situation”.

Viktor Valainis, Chairman of the Saeima faction of the Union of Greens and Farmers, said that the Saeima could decide on this at the next Saeima meeting, Thursday, December 1.

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