Rat­i­fi­ca­tion of Is­tan­bul Con­ven­tion falls through in Latvia

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Unity is the only one of the coali­tion par­ties in Latvia that has ex­pressed sup­port for the rat­i­fi­ca­tion of Is­tan­bul Con­ven­tion so far, politi­cians say. Prime Min­is­ter Māris Kučin­skis says there are still many ques­tions left unan­swered in re­gards to this con­ven­tion. It is im­pos­si­ble to dis­cuss the project’s fu­ture with­out first tack­ling those ques­tions, said the prime min­is­ter. Au­gusts Brig­ma­nis, leader of the Union of Greens and Farm­ers (UGF) fac­tion in the Saeima, has con­firmed that his party does not sup­port rat­i­fi­ca­tion of Is­tan­bul Con­ven­tion. Raivis Dz­in­tars, chair­man of the Na­tional Al­liance, says his party also does not sup­port the con­ven­tion’s rat­i­fi­ca­tion. The po­lit­i­cal party notes that Latvia has al­ready be­gun in­tro­duc­ing mea­sures to limit and com­bat vi­o­lence. Be­cause of that, Raivis says, rat­i­fi­ca­tion of the con­ven­tion would be un­nec­es­sary.

Unity sup­ports Wel­fare Min­is­ter Jāņis Reirs’s opin­ion that Is­tan­bul Con­ven­tion rep­re­sents a way to move for­ward, said the party’s chair­man Arvils Ašer­adens. «Unity re­spects the opin­ion of its coali­tion part­ners that there are still many ques­tions that re­quire dis­cus­sions,» he said. It will be pos­si­ble to move for­ward once all ques­tions have been an­swered.

On Mon­day, 22 Jan­uary, the Cabi­net of Min­is­ters in­tended to view the leg­isla­tive draft in ac­cor­dance with which Latvia would ap­prove Coun­cil of Europe Con­ven­tion on pre­vent­ing and com­bat­ing vi­o­lence against women and do­mes­tic vi­o­lence or the Is­tan­bul Con­ven­tion. In the end, how­ever, view­ing of this mat­ter was post­poned in the end. State Chan­cellery’s rep­re­sen­ta­tive Sabīne Spurķe says that dis­cus­sion of this mat­ter was post­poned be­cause of its com­plex­ity. «Ad­di­tional con­sul­ta­tions and re­search are needed, be­cause in­for­ma­tion pro­vided by dif­fer­ent min­istries is too con­tro­ver­sial,» she added. Wel­fare Min­istry with help from other min­istries has pre­pared a leg­isla­tive draft that pro­vides for Latvia’s rat­i­fi­ca­tion of the Is­tan­bul Con­ven­tion. Latvia signed the con­ven­tion 18 May 2016. So far all min­istries ex­cept Jus­tice Min­istry have co­or­di­nated in­tro­duc­tion of the con­ven­tion.

Edijs Pālens/LETA

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