Education and Science, Latvia

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Sunday, 22.09.2019, 03:09

Government not likely to approve of Muiznieks as LU rector

BC, Riga, 26.08.2019.Print version
The Cabinet of Ministers is not likely to approve Indrikis Muiznieks as the University of Latvia (LU) rector, according to what Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins (New Unity) said today LETA.

After the cooperation council meeting today, Karins told journalists that the government tomorrow, August 27, plans to review the issue on approving LU rector. Last week the government supported the proposal of Education and Science Minister Ilga Suplinska (New Conservative Party) on reforms in the higher education governing system.

“Suplinska is ready to work with other related ministries in order to present in December a report on how we will implement the positive reforms in higher education,” said Karins.

“At present it seems that all government parties and all ministers support Suplinska,” said the politician.

Asked whether it means that the prime minister expects that all government ministers support the draft decision prepared by the Education and Science Ministry, recommending not to approve Muiznieks as the LU rector, Karins was affirmative. Karins said that all coalition partners have voiced support to Suplinska’s reforms and in this case the matter on the LU rector is a part of the reform, the prime minister said.

“We trust Suplinska,” he said.

As reported, Muiznieks’ reappointment as University of Latvia rector is currently under question as Education and Science Minister Ilga Suplinska (New Conservative Party) has advised the government against approving Muiznieks’ reelection, but this decision will ultimately be made by the government. She added that she will submit to the government conclusions on the violations established by the State Education Quality Service.

Meanwhile, the head of the State Education Quality Service Inita Juhnevica confirmed that they have ascertained violations in the LU rector election process. Juhnevica also said that the legitimacy of the Constitutional Assembly of the University of Latvia is also under doubt.

The Constitutional Assembly of the University of Latvia convened an extraordinary meeting on June 6 because of uncertainty related with the election results during the first stage of the elections organized in May.

On May 24, Muiznieks was supported with 141 votes, while 143 members voted against him. The other candidate - Gundars Berzins - received 128 votes, while 156 members voted against him.

Initially the regulations were interpreted so that the winner is the one who received more votes in his support. However, after protests from students and other institutions, Muiznieks ordered to convene an extraordinary meeting in order “to strengthen the rule of law and the university’s reputation”.

In the second meeting, Muiznieks was elected with 132 votes to 112, while nine voting slips were not valid. Delegates this time voted only on one candidate who won the majority of votes at the first stage in May.

The Cabinet of Ministers still has to make the decision on appointing Muiznieks to the post.

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