Non-vaccinated Saeima deputies may be prohibited to work in the parliament in person

On Thursday, 11 November, Latvia’s Saeima conceptually approved a legislative draft that would restrict deputies who are not vaccinated and who have not recovered from Covid-19 infection from working at the parliament in person.
Objections against this proposal were voiced mostly by opposition deputies during debates.
As previously reported, this legislative draft states that from 15 November onward Saeima deputies will be able to participate in meetings in person under certain conditions.
Deputies will need to present members of the Mandate, Ethics and Submissions Committee a valid Covid-19 vaccination or recovery certificate or a notice from a clinical university hospital specialist regarding the postponing of vaccination together with a negative Covid-19 test result.
Deputies who fail to meet the aforementioned conditions will have their monthly wage cut 20% for each missed Saeima meeting.
The total amount deducted from deputies’ wage per month will not be allowed to exceed the amount deducting which would leave the person with less than the subsistence minimum set in Latvia.
The Saeima Praesidium will evaluate the need to maintain this restriction at least twice a month.
It is planned for this legislative draft to remain in force until 1 July 2022.
Previously at the meeting with the Defence, Internal Affairs and Corruption Prevention Committee Ombudsman Juris Jansons mentioned that the legal side of the aforementioned legislative draft is secondary because it is nothing more than political score-settling. If the parliament makes it compulsory for people employed in state administration to vaccinate – the state administration needs to make an example.
«This is more of a philosophical question. If you make it compulsory to vaccinate, please make an example,» said Jansons. This does not exclude the possibility of some deputies taking this issue to the Constitutional Court, said Jansons.