RIGA - The Latvian parliament today decided against reappointing Edvards Kusners to the Bank of Latvia Council for another term.
While 36 Saeima members voted for Kusners’ reappointment, 14 lawmakers voted against and 28 abstained. Another eight MPs did not register for the vote. MPs of the Union of Greens and Farmers and Harmony party, as well as politicians representing the National Alliance and some lawmakers who have changed their party affiliation voted against Kusners’ reappointment.
On May 17, the Saeima Budget and Finance (Taxation) Committee decided not to recommend the parliament reappointing Edvards Kusners to the Bank of Latvia Council for another term. Kusners has been serving as a member of the Bank of Latvia Council since 2012.
Some politicians today cited the situation in the Latvian financial sector in recent years as an argument against Kusners’ reappointment.
Earlier, members of the Saeima Budget and Finance (Taxation) Committee were mostly concerned about events in 2005 when Kusners, who was deputy head of the Bank of Latvia's Legal Department at the time, also worked as an authorized representative of the Delaware-registered company Carew Estates LLC.
Kusners told the committee that, under Latvia's laws, Delaware was not an offshore, that his work for Carew Estates LLC had no negative consequences for Latvia, and his work at the Bank of Latvia was not compromised in any way. Kusners emphasized that he had never tried to conceal the fact that he had worked for Carew Estates LLC.
Janis Vucans (Greens/Farmers), chairman of the Budget and Finance (Taxation) Committee, said that as a lawyer Kusners had analyzed the situation from the legal point of view, but that there was also a “moral aspect” to it.
The Bank of Latvia Council includes six members – the central bank’s governor, his deputy and four council members. The Corruption Prevention Bureau (KNAB) is currently probing Bank of Latvia Governor Ilmars Rimsevics for soliciting and accepting a large bribe. Rimsevics has been suspended from the job pending the investigation.
At the moment, the other Bank of Latvia Council members are Vita Pilsuma, Arvils Strautins, and Aivars Skopins.
Saeima confirmed Kusners as the Bank of Latvia's council member on May 31, 2012.