HousingIntegrationCitizenshipLanguage
EN    LV    RU
The fact that a significant percentage of the adult population of Latvia does not enjoy voting rights represents a continuing democratic deficit. - OSCE/ODIHR
 About us 
 Fields of work 
 Minority Issues 
 History 
 Library 
 Archive 
 Contacts 
 Links 

 

New government of Latvia: old and new risks for human rights 
 

On February, 12, 2016, the Parliament of Latvia has approved a new cabinet, led by Mr. Māris Kučinskis.

It is estimated, that the far-right, anti-immigration National Alliance now has more influence than in the previous cabinet. 

In its declaration, the new cabinet announces its intention to switch 
minority schools to Latvian language of instruction only - "It is 
necessary to elaborate a plan for transition to a uniform education 
standard for learning in the official language in educational institutions 
funded by the state and local governments; it is necessary to start its 
implementation". Notably, over the last 16 years most minority schools 
(those using minority language as a medium of instruction) have already 
been closed. There were 346 minority schools in 1998/99 and only 169 in 
2014/2015. 

The new PM also announced that, unlike the previous head of government Ms. 
Laimdota Straujuma, he will allow the ministers to take part in the annual 
events in Riga dedicated to the veterans of Waffen SS Latvian Legion. 

In the meantime between the resignation of the previous cabinet (in 
December) and the confirmation of a new one, the caretaker government has 
slashed benefits for refugees from 256 to 139 EUR a month. 

-------- 

Sources of information for further reading: 

Media report on slashing the refugee benefits (EN) - 
http://www.lsm.lv/en/article/societ/society/government-slashes-refugee-benefits-to-139-a-month.a160844/ 

Cabinet declaration (EN) - 
  http://www.mk.gov.lv/sites/default/files/editor/deklaracija_en.pdf 

A media report on the new cabinet (EN) - 
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/13/world/europe/latvia-has-a-new-leader-as-fears-of-russia-and-migration-rise.html 

Mr Kučinskis on the participation of ministers in annual events of March 
the 16th (LV) - http://www.la.lv/kucinskis-es-neaicinasu-16-marta-iet-pie-brivibas-pieminekla/ 

Annual statistics on the number of schools by medium of instruction (LV) - 
see "pa plusmam" - 
http://www.izm.gov.lv/images/statistika/visp_izgl/2014_2015/VS_skolu_sk_14.xls