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Latvia bans unvaccinated lawmakers from voting, docks pay

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By Reuters
Latvia bans unvaccinated lawmakers from voting, docks pay
Latvia bans unvaccinated lawmakers from voting, docks pay   -   Copyright  Thomson Reuters 2021

– Latvia’s parliament voted on Friday to ban lawmakers who refuse COVID-19 vaccine from voting on legislature and participating in discussions.

Latvia, which has one of the lowest vaccination rates in European Union, was the first in the bloc to reimpose a lockdown this autumn as a surge in COVID-19 cases threatens to overwhelm its health system.

The restrictions on vaccine-rejecting lawmakers, which includes docking their pay, was supported by 62 of its 100 lawmakers, and will last from Monday until mid-2022.

State television reported that nine MPs have rejected the vaccine.

The ban on unvaccinated MPs in parliament was necessary to promote public confidence in the government’s policies to control COVID-19 infections, the legislation’s sponsor, lawmaker Janis Rancans, was cited as saying by the parliamentary press service.

Latvia, home to 1.9 million people, has reported 236,765 infections and 3,646 coronavirus-related deaths since the pandemic began.