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    FORMER COMMUNISTS AND KGB OFFICERS TO PARTICIPATE IN ELECTIONS TO EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

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    RIGA, January 29 (RIA Novosti correspondent Anatoly Baranovsky) - Former Communists and KGB servicemen in Latvia will be able to participate in the elections to the European parliament, reads the law On Elections of the European Parliament adopted today by the Latvian Seim.

    Candidates for deputies will only have to specify that they worked in the KGB or were members of the USSR Communist Party or other organizations "whose activities were targeted against Latvia's independence." Before today's voting, Justice Minister Aivars Aksenoks on behalf of the Latvian government sent the Seim a letter asking the deputies to remove the restrictions against ex Communist and KGB workers from the bill, as they contradicted the PACE 1996 resolution "On measures to eradicate the heritage of the former Communist totalitarian system." The elections to the European parliament will be held in Latvia on June 12th 2004, and the adopted law allows former leader of the Latvian Communists, incumbent chairman of the Socialist Party Alfreds Rubiks, head of the leftist oppositional parliamentary party of Equality Tatiana Zhdanok and prominent Latvian politician, Social Democrat Janis Adamsons to run in the elections.

    However, neither of them will be able to run for the Latvian Seim as former KGB employees or the Communist Party's members.

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