Committee supports making vaccination compulsory for Saeima deputies

The majority of members of Saeima’s Defence, Internal Affairs and Corruption Prevention Committee supported development of a legislative draft that would make vaccination compulsory for deputies.
According to the committee’s chairman Juris Rancāns, amendments to the law would make it so that deputies who do not present a valid vaccination certificate would be suspended from their duties and not be paid a wage.
Deputies did not discuss which regulations should be applied to non-vaccinated and recovered deputies. Details may become clearer once the legislative draft has been fully developed. The legislative draft received support from coalition deputies. Members of the opposition, on the other hand, either voted against it or abstained in the vote.
During the meeting members listened to law experts, who outlined that such a legislative draft requires a legitimate goal. Some lawyers voiced scepticism about such a regulation. Former chairman of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Latvia Gunārs Kūtris pointed out that such a law could be challenged at the court.
As previously commented by Saeima speaker Ināra Mūrniece, the parliament should make a decision as to whether or not deputies require a vaccination or recovery certificate.
Mūrniece said that following a request from the Saeima Praesidium, reports have been prepared by experts – Saeima’s Legal Affairs Bureau, Jānis Pleps and Kristīne Līce. In those reports it is stated that when it comes to Saeima deputies and compulsory vaccination, the parliament should discuss and decide on the matter again.
The possible regulation may include a principle similar to the one used for employees of state administration – suspension and withholding of pay for non-vaccinated deputies, said Mūrniece. Commenting on how non-vaccinated workers of state institutions will not be able perform their duties, the Saeima speaker said members of the parliament should discuss if this measure is applicable to deputies as well.