Saeima to consider amendments to asylum law

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On Thursday, Saeima (the Latvian parliament) decided that it'll consider amendments to the asylum law, proposed by the National Alliance. The amendments propose handing the control over refugee matters to Saeima.

Rihards Kols (National Alliance) said that the society feels ignored when the decision that Latvia has to admit refugees is made by EU officials, not Latvian politicians. 

The proposal was supported by 64 MPs, with no votes against.

The coalition voted "for", along with the opposition's Latvia From the Heart, while Harmony and Regional Alliance abstained.

Under the proposed draft amendments, any decisions concerning relocation of refugees and asylum seekers to Latvia from other EU member states or third countries as well as any matters directly or indirectly related to the subject should be made by the parliament. 

The government will be competent to take any decisions about acceptance of asylum seekers only if delegated by the parliament to do so.

Previously, the amendment was criticized by Kārlis Šadurskis (Unity) for the low quality of the bill and said it needs rewriting, though adding that it was supported in principle.

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