A detailed, 14-page letter from the Ministry of Interior is among documents submitted by Sept. 1 suggesting improvements to proposed amendments to Latvia’s Citizenship Law. (Illustration by Latvians Online)
A proposal to renew dual citizenship in Latvia is among legislation that may fall by the wayside as the 10th Saeima wraps up its work in the wake of the Sept. 17 special parliamentary election.
Even though a special subcommittee was established to review the legislation, and even though several suggestions for improvement were received by the Sept. 1 deadline, the bill appears to stand little chance of making it to a final reading.
In that case, supporters of amending the Citizenship Law—including renewing the possibility for World War II exile Latvians and their descendants to claim dual citizenship—may have to wait for new proposals in the just-elected 11th Saeima.
MP Ilma Čepāne, a member of the Unity (Vienotība) party and chairperson of the Saeima’s Legal Affairs Committee, told Latvians Online in an email that former President Valdis Zatlers’ initiative to dismiss the 10th Saeima and the special election that followed make passage of amendments to the Citizenship Law unlikely.
“Unfortunately because of V. Zatlers’ Order No. 2 and the special Saeima elections, as well as the fact that the agenda for Saeima meetings is set by the president, I very much doubt the possibility that the bill could be accepted on its final, third, reading,” Čepāne said.
Until the 11th Saeima takes office, new President Andris Bērziņš is calling special meetings of the 10th Saeima. He has said that only items on which broad agreement has been reached will be put on the agenda.
The next special meeting of the 10th Saeima is Sept. 22. Amendments to the Citizenship Law are not on the agenda.
In April, the Saeima gave its support on first reading to bill No. 238/Lp10, one of three proposals that reached parliament in the spring. The Saeima also set up a subcommittee of the Legal Affairs Committee to review the legislation and set a Sept. 1 deadline for changes to be proposed.
The subcommittee received several proposed changes, including a detailed, 14-page single-spaced response from the Ministry of the Interior, which included a number of technical corrections.
According to the Saeima website, the last scheduled meeting of the subcommittee was June 1.
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