Two international legal offices do not see any violations in procedure electing LU rector

Two international legal offices have not detected violations in the procedure electing University of Latvia (LU) rector Indrikis Muiznieks, according to the documents at the disposal of LETA.

PricewaterhouseCoopers Legal (PwC Legal) said in its conclusion on the procedures electing LU rector on May 24 and June 6, that the violations pointed out previously by the Education and Science Ministry, in fact, cannot be detected.

“A number of violations, for example, in relation to the Constitutional Assembly of June 6 refers to technical procedural issues, and even alleged failure to follow this procedure could not have affected the election results,” said PwC Legal lawyers.

PwC Legal suggests the LU to launch an audit of its procedures and adopt amendments in the internal regulations, but the necessity for improvements does not mean that legitimacy of the earlier decisions should be doubted.

TGS Baltic lawyers office also said that there have been no such violations of the law of LU regulations detected that would be the grounds for the Cabinet of Ministers decision not to approve Muiznieks as the LU rector.

Both legal opinions last week were submitted to the State Chancellery.

As reported, 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 (LU).

Suplinska recommends the government not to confirm Muiznieks as LU rector, 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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