To the outside world today is March 12 but as far as Latvia’s parliament, the Saeima, is concerned, it is still March 5 – because one week on, the contentious debate on regional administrative reform is still rumbling on.
The March 12 Saeima sitting is continuing discussion of the agenda that was up for debate one week ago, and has remained under debate for four sittings, with Thursday’s exchanges constituting a fifth.
Deputies still have dozens of items to work through, with the very real possibility that the debate may extend into a second week.
The changes provide for the creation of 40 municipalities in time for the 2021 local elections instead of the current 119 local government districts. The government argues this will make for a more efficient and rational system of local government. Critics argue that rural districts will lose their voices and autonomy, with power concentrated in urban centers.
You can watch the action – if that’s the right word – from the Saeima chamber live .