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Latvian Deputies To Nominate Rubiks For President

By Peter Zvagulis

Riga, May 20 (RFE/RL) -- The Latvian daily DIENA reports that imprisoned former Communist leader Alfreds Rubiks may be nominated as a candidate for president. The term of current President Guntis Ulmanis expires on July 7.

The newspaper reports that two socialist party deputies from the 100-seat Latvian Parliament (Modris Lujans and Aleksandrs Bartasevics) are proposing to nominate Rubiks. Rubiks is presently serving an eight-year prison term for conspiracy to overthrow the government after being convicted last year.

The newspaper reports that the Latvian constitution does not have a provision that would prevent Rubiks from being elected. Rubiks would apparently acquire legal immunity after being sworn in as president, but it is unclear if this could be done while he is still in prison.