New head of Competition Council selected

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Following a tender process, a likely new head of Latvian commercial watchdog the Competition Council has been named, the LETA newswire reported September 1.

Juris Gaikis, the head of the State Medical Commission for the Assessment of Health Condition and Working Ability and former Tax Board director at the State Revenue Service, has been selected for the position of the head of the Competition Council, according to the Economics Ministry's draft decision submitted ahead of the government's meeting of September 8.

According to LETA's archive, Gaikis has a Master's Degree in Law from the University of Latvia. 

The main aim of the Competition Council is to ensure free and fair competition in commercial practices as well as to promote competition development in all sectors of national economy for the benefit of all society. It has the power to sanction businesses for unfair practices such as running a cartel or price manipulation.

As previously reported, former Competition Council head Skaidrite Abrama stepped down as the Competition Council head in April. Abrama has been in the position since June 2012. She was approved for a second term in the office in 2017 but left with a parting shot saying long-overdue reforms were still needed in Latvia's commerical and regulatory world.

A first competition to find a replacement failed, with no suitable candidate emerging.

Gaikis' appointment will still need to be agreed by the cabinet.

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