Legality of Latvia's education reform to be considered by Constitutional Court

Former MP and the board chairman of the little-known Action Party, Igors Melnikovs, has filed a complaint with the Constitutional Court about education reform aimed at switching to Latvian as the sole language of instruction at school, the Constitutional Court said May 2.

Melnikovs wants the court to examine the compliance of the education reform with several articles of the Latvian Constitution and a number of international conventions, the LETA newswire reported.

The Constitutional Court will decide by May 20 whether to accept Melnikovs' complaint for a ruling.

So far this is the only complaint about the education reform received by the court, although the opposition Harmony party said in late March that it might complain to Constitutional Court about the legislative amendments.

Harmony is now working on its complaint to the Constitutional Court and may file it with the court during the parliament's spring session, party MP Boriss Cilevics told LETA.

As previously reported, on March 22, 2018, the Latvian parliament passed in the final reading amendments to the Education Law and the Law on General Education under which schools of ethnic minorities will have to start gradual transition to Latvian-only secondary education in the 2019/2020 academic year. The legislative amendments providing for a gradual transition to education in Latvian in all public schools will be implemented gradually from September 1, 2019, to September 1, 2021.

The move has met with stiff opposition from some Russian-speakers, with a series of demonstrations in the streets of Rīga.

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