Education and Science, Latvia

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Friday, 30.07.2021, 04:19

Government does not re-appoint Muiznieks as University of Latvia rector

BC, Riga, 27.08.2019.Print version
After prolonged discussions today, the government decided against re-appointing Indrikis Muiznieks as rector of the University of Latvia based on the Education and Science Ministry’s claims of multiple violations in the rector’s election.

The Cabinet of Minister passed the decision in a vote, with all ministers voting against Muiznieks’ re-appointment, except three ministers from KPV LV party who abstained from voting. Interior Minister Sandis Girgens (KPV LV) said that the government cannot act as a court of arbitration, and Economics Minister Ralfs Nemiro (KPV LV) tended to support the position of University of Latvia students who insisted on the university’s autonomy.

As reported, the government last week decided to postpone the decision whether or not to confirm Indrikis Muiznieks as the rector of the University of Latvia for another term.

Meanwhile, Education and Science Minister Ilga Suplinska (New Conservative Party, JKP) has made the decision not to approve re-election of Indrikis Muiznieks as the rector of the University of Latvia.

Suplinska said earlier that she recommends the government not to confirm Muiznieks as University of Latvia rector, but this decision will ultimately be made by the government. She added that she will submit to the government conclusions of violations established by the State Education Quality Service.

Previously, the head of the State Education Quality Service Inita Juhnevica confirmed that they have ascertained violations in the University of Latvia 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.

This Monday, the University of Latvia asked the Administrative District Court to make the Cabinet of Ministers to approve Indrikis Muiznieks as the University of Latvia rector.

The University of Latvia has filed a claim against Education and Science Minister Ilga Suplinska (New Conservative Party) and the Cabinet of Ministers. The university at coart is represented by sworn lawyer Benno Butulis.

The university in its application has described the process electing the rector and following events as a result of which the Education and Science Ministry proposed that the Cabinet of Ministers should not approve Muiznieks as the rector. The university said that there have not been any breaches in the respective legislation or regulations detected.

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.

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