Ratification of Istanbul Convention falls through in Latvia
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.