12.11.2012 Movement "For Equal Rights" calls the Council of Europe to evaluate Latvian law on popular initiatives
On November, 12, the movement has sent a letter to three top officials of the Council of Europe. Those are Secretary-General T. Jagland, Commissioner for Human Rights N. Muiznieks and President of the Parliamentary Assembly J.-C. Mignon.
"For Equal Rights" calls on them to send Latvian laws on the popular initiative for consideration of the Venice Commission. The latter is the expert body of the CoE working on constitutional law issues.
The specific reason of the letter is the refusal of the Central Election Commission to start gathering signatures under amendments to the Citizenship Law, which were submitted by 12 686 citizens. The refusal was adopted with 6 votes against 3. It was drafted under harsh political pressure and is based on conclusions by government-paid experts, contrary to the long-established pratice of CEC not evaluating the content of popular initiative bills. The refusal also contradicts the conclusions of the only independent expert invited by CEC, Dr. M. Paparinskis, who found that the commission has no competence to decide whether the amendments are constitutional.