- Government conceptually supported a proposal to restore a voluntary record of person’s ethnic affiliation in passports
- Chas interviews a researcher Dace Akule about society consolidation issues
The government conceptually supported a proposal to restore a voluntary record of person’s ethnic affiliation in passports. As reported, authors of the proposal are MPs from the nationalists union All for Latvia!-FF-LNIM who believe such record strengthens national identity of ethnic Latvians. The proposal was recently refused by the Saeima; however, the proposal was submitted again and passed for the consideration in parliamentary committees. The government ordered the Ministry of Interior to elaborate amendments to the law on personal identification documents by 1 February 2013. Neatkariga, Chas
Chas prints an interview with a researcher of the Centre for public Policy “Providus” Dace Akule about society consolidation issues. According to Ms Akule, Latvian society has always been diverse and it is not possible to make it homogenous suddenly. The society consolidation can be achieved only by searching compromise decisions because all the decision in the diverse society should be flexible.
- Unity nominated Sarmite Elerte as its candidate to the post of the Mayor of Riga
- Nationalists’ union demands to limit access to the naturalisation procedure
- “For Equal Rights” appealed the decision of the Central Election Committee on non-citizens referendum
The Unity nominated Sarmite Elerte as its candidate to the post of the Mayor of Riga at the up-coming municipal elections. Mrs Elerte is the former Minister of Culture who supervised the elaboration of a society integration program which received highly critical evaluation by society and experts. According to Mrs Elerte, her main task on the post of the Mayor of Riga will be “to return Riga back to Latvia”. Chas, Vesti Segodnya, Diena, Latvijas Avize, Neatkariga
The nationalists’ union All for Latvia!-FF-LNIM demands to limit access to the naturalisation procedure and threatens that otherwise the union will not to support the adoption of the new version of the Citizenship Law. The nationalists’ union wants to narrow the circle of persons who have the right to easier naturalisation procedure. Thus, only those graduates of ethnic monitory schools who passed the state language examination at school at the level A, B and C should be exempt for language test for naturalisation (at present also level D is accepted). Also the nationalists propose to increase from 5 up to 10 years the minimum term of permanent residency in Latvia required for naturalisation. Chas, Vesti Segodnya
Leaders of the movement “For Equal Rights” appealed the decision of the Central Election Committee (CEC) which hindered the referendum initiation procedure for support of granting Latvian citizenship to non-citizens. The movement asks the court to abolish the CEC decision and to oblige it to conduct the second stage of referendum – state funded collection of signatures for the initiative. Chas, Vesti Segodnya
- Director of the Latvian Centre for Human Rights Anhelita Kamenska: ethnic affiliation record in passport could serve as instrument for potential discrimination
Director of the Latvian Centre for Human Rights Anhelita Kamenska criticizes a proposal of the nationalists’ union to return a record on person’s ethnic belonging in passports. Ms Kamenska believes a record indicating ethnicity could serve as instrument for potential discrimination because of existing prejudices towards representatives of various ethnicities in the society. Ms Kamenska also notes that the Labour Law forbids asking a person of his/her ethnic belonging during the job interview. According to Mr Kamenska, the practice of recording one’s ethnicity in passports was introduced in the Soviet era and, at present, none of European states has it. The Ombudsman Juris Jansons also does not support the proposal arguing that passport is a document which identifies belonging of a person to a state not ethnic group. Chas, Vesti Segodnya
- Saeima refused a proposal to forbid persons with insufficient state language proficiency to run for elections
The Saeima refused a proposal of the nationalists’ union All for Latvia!-FF/LNIM to forbid persons with insufficient state language proficiency to run for elections. The nationalists’ union proposed to set that only candidates with the highest level of language proficiency are allowed to run for elections.
- MPs discussed Latvia’s actions in case of large influx of immigrants to the country
Yesterday, the Saeima’s Defence, Internal Affairs and Corruption Prevention Committee discussed Latvia’s actions in case of large influx of immigrants to the country. State officials from the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs and the Ministry of Interior invited to the meeting denied the assertion that Latvia has agreed secretly to accept large influx of asylum seekers. At present, according to the state officials, the country has capacity to accept not more than 600 immigrants a year. Chas, Vesti Segodnya