Latvian government wants extra flexibility on state of emergency rules

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At an extraordinary meeting on April 3, the government supported an amendment to the Law on Emergency Situation and State of Exception, which gives the Cabinet of Ministers a right to extend a state of emergency several times, reported the LETA newswire.

At the moment, the law stipulates that the Cabinet of Ministers may extend a state of emergency once only, for a time period not exceeding three months.

Saeima will take the final decision on the amendment.

Juris Jurašs, chairman of the New Conservative Party's Saeima group, earlier told LETA that politicians were debating by how long the current state of emergency should be extended - either by three months, according to the current version of the law, or perhaps a different solution should be agreed upon.

"All the pros and cons are being looked into - we need to balance out residents' safety, to mitigate the consequences of the pandemic as much as possible, with not bringing the economic activity to a halt," said Jurašs.

"The Emergency Situations Law currently stipulates that a state of emergency can be extended by three months, and I believe this is what we will have to do," Health Minister Ilze Viņķele said earlier this week, stressing that the government had the right to lift the state of emergency any time if the situation in the country improves.

The current state of emergency in Latvia is to continue until April 14.

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