Nine apply to become anti-graft chief

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Nine candidates have applied for the position of the Corruption Prevention Bureau’s (KNAB) chief, said Janis Citskovskis, the State Chancellery head and the head of the commission tasked with selection of the KNAB chief.

Citskovskis did not reveal names of the candidates.

The commission today held its first meeting and started assessing the filed applications. "We started to assess eligibility of the candidates, first of all, with the formal requirements – education, language skills, work experience," said Citskovskis.

The next meeting is planned on May 25. Further steps, however, will depend on decisions of security institutions who will assess whether the candidates meet the legislative requirements in this aspect.

Citskovskis rejected concerns about political pressure on the commission. He said that the commission has not held any political consultations, thus, none of the politicians, including the prime minister, has not been informed on the candidates. Citskovskis also said that he will be the only persons who will communicate with the press about the tender.

As reported, candidates could apply for the position until March 30. Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis (Greens/Farmers) said earlier that there are representatives from law enforcement institutions among the candidates.

The previous tender for the position was announced last year, and ten candidates applied then. None of them was found fit for the position, including former KNAB chief Jaroslavs Strelcenoks.

Saeima then passed legislative amendments easing the work experience requirement for candidates to the Corruption Prevention Bureau chief.

The requirement that eligible candidates must have at least a three-year experience of working in a senior position has now been lifted.

Now the candidates for the Corruption Prevention Bureau’s chief will be considered eligible, if they have appropriate work experience and experience of working in a senior post in the public administration or law enforcement.

KNAB's remit to fight corruption has been repeatedly hampered for a decade by attempts at political interference, internal dissent and dissatisfaction with its leadership.

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