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Latvian parliament rejects UN Migration Compact

Latvia's parliament has voted on the acceptance of the UN Migration Compact. This week, with 43 votes to 31, Parliament decided that Latvia should not sign the deal.

Published: December 7, 2018, 7:48 am

    Latvia held elections in October, and, like Sweden, it has not yet been able to form a new government.

    But unlike in Sweden, the transitional government in Latvia has decided to allow Parliament, or the Saeima, to settle the issue of the disputed UN migration framework.

    The National Conservative and Latvia-Friendly Party National Alliance, whose party secretary was interviewed in Nya Tider in November on account of Latvia’s 100th anniversary, had submitted a resolution to the Riksdag with proposals to reject the country’s participation in the Migration Compact.

    Conservatives voted against the UN agreement

    The majority, which includes three conservative parties – the National Alliance, the New Conservative Party and the relatively new party Who owns the state? – voted for the resolution against the UN Migration Compact.

    Some parliamentarians from the Green Party and the Farmers’ Union, united in a coalition, also supported the resolution.

    Those who voted against the resolution, and thus for Latvia to sign the UN Migration Compact, consisted of Swedish Premier Stefan Löfven’s cooperation party in Latvia, the Kremlin-friendly Social Democratic Harmony, which is also the country’s largest party.

    Parties joining the UN’s open-border project together with Harmony, were Liberal New Unity and the Liberal Three-Party Alliance Development / For!

    Harmony’s representatives warned during the intense debate against “xenophobia”, arguing that immigration was the only way to bring new labour into the country as well as preserve the European welfare system.

    So far, Latvia has been the only Baltic country to reject the Migration Compact. Earlier, it seemed that Estonia would say no, but the government could not reach a decision and the matter was subjected to a parliamentary vote where the Compact was approved.

    In Sweden, the transitional government has decided to sign the Migration Compact without asking the Riksdag. This is despite the fact that it is unclear whether a transitional government even has the mandate to sign international agreements at all.

    Axel Fors

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