Saturday, April 5, 2008

Will there be rule of law?

After the parliamentary elections in 2006 the Senate of the Supreme Court made a decision (November 13, 2006) that two parties (Peoples party(TP) and Union of Latvian Way and First parties (LC/LPP)) breached the election law. The Court's decision stopped in half way, and it said that the breaches were not as significant as to announce the elections as illegitimate. Opposition parties brought this decision of the Supreme Court to the Court in Brussels, where they lost the case because of its political nature.

Both parties were campaigning through "third parties". "Third party" election financing is a very tricky issue and it is not properly regulated in most European states. Nevertheless, the Anti corruption agency (KNAB) made a decision, that TP & LC/LPP have to pay back monies that exceeded official limits into state treasury. According to KNAB calculations both parties together should repay circa 1,5mlj lats (about 2 mlj euros), that would eventually bankrupt those parties. Both TP and LC/LPP claim that they have not performed any illegal acts, and thus the case is pending in the Administrative Court. Because Administrative courts are overburdened, the case might take years prior the court would pass its final verdict. Also the case might simply expire after thus many years, but illegally elected politicians could continue to enjoy their status of untouchables.

In addition to that, like a snow from the sky, in today's Latvian media LC/LPP party several members came up with a novel idea. The head of Saeima National Security Commission Dzintars Jaunžeikars, for example, openly states, that "LC/LPP party is a different legal entity after its last party congress (January 27, 2007), thus it should not be responsible for anything [including the allegation of breaching the election law] that did the Union of LC/LPP". Legal nihilism par excellence!!!! And all this at a time when statutes of LC/LPP party openly state that the newly founded LC/LPP party is responsible for all the deeds of its predecessors!!!

In Estonia such actions are called JOKK (juriidiliselt on kōik korrektne - in legal terms everything is alright) politics. It is this peculiar post Soviet politics where the same folks pass, change (very often past the date) and implement legal norms. If such tactics of the prime minister's party would succeed it would create a prime precedent for burial of the rule of law in this country, and gradual demise of the state. Short and simple!

P.S. Thus, why do people wonder about folks leaving this country for better life in Western parts of the EU!! When Brussels officialdome and civil society in Latvia Ltd. will finally wake up?

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