Leaders of political parties Latvian Association of Regions and For Latvia’s Development believe the current Mayor of Riga Nils Usakovs is a real burden for the capital city’s development. This is why they have made it their main objective to «topple» Usakovs, as noted by Latvian Association of Regions.
«We invite everyone who cares about Riga’s fate to join us and express their opinion of Nils Usakovs on social networks. Nils Usakovs’ Riga City Council has become a burden for Riga’s residents and a symbol of unprofessionalism and corruption. As it is known, such symbols are overthrown sooner or later. On 24 August 1991 Riga’s resident toppled Lenin’s monument on Brivibas Street. Now we want to unite people and topple this symbol of indifference and unprofessionalism. Municipal elections on 3 June will be the turning point. We are confident that it is an opportunity to be rid of Usakovs for good,» says Martins Bondars.
Politologist Ivars Ijabs said the following about Bondars to la.lv portal: «Bondars is a gambler. His decision to participate in Riga City Council elections will definitely make this event more interesting. Although, there is little to say about the programme in Riga – points like honesty, cleaner environment and family can mean a lot of things. Usakovs’ and Bondars’ mutual verbal confrontation live on television will be a sight to see.»
As for the current mayor of Riga, Ijabs said Usakovs’ programme consists of the same Usakovs for four more years. «He has worked on that image for so long that I’m surprised there is no vodka called Ushakovka. He is, without a doubt, the strongest candidate. Content is scares – a friend here and there and light red paternalism. Communication, on the other hand, is efficient and rating – good.»
The desire to topple Usakovs for Latvian Association of Regions is based on seven primary reasons. These are:
1.Usakovs is expensive – public transport costs, real estate tax and parking fees have nearly doubled under his rule;
2.Usakovs is messy – Barona Street repair serves a great example for that, as does the state of other roads in Riga;
3.Usakovs puts his own people everywhere – he picks heads based on their association with the party, not their competence and skills;
4.Usakovs is bad at simple mathematics – loan interest rates are too high for residents to afford, reaching tens of millions euros in losses for the capital;
5.Usakovs always overpays – even Polish media note that Riga has the most expensive trams in the world. And this is even without nano-water and other schemes;
6.Usakovs doesn’t think about tomorrow – he takes on more and more loans our children will then have to pay back;
7.Usakovs may be covering up corruption – during his rule, Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau caught at least eight employees of Riga City Council performing illegal activities.
Latvian Association of Regions estimates that sociological surveys show that 58% of Riga residents would like to see someone new in the seat of the Mayor of Riga.