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Monday 20.11.2017 | Name days: Anda, Andīna

Ventspils Mayor's new trick - retreat

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Aivars Lembergs

Replacement of long-standing Ventspils Mayor Aivars Lembergs with other For Latvia and Ventspils members will not change anything. The faces will be different, but Lembergs will still be in charge of everything, according to the opposition of Ventspils City Council.

Vladislavs Safranskis, Ivars Landmanis and Aivis Landmanis were commenting on the call allegedly made by the opposition of Ventspils City Council. It emerged in press on Friday, November 9, that opposition forces are urging to vote for For Latvia and Ventspils in the municipal election, but crossing Lembergs out of the list.

“If we really want major changes to boost growth of Latvia and Ventspils, there is no way we should vote for the party For Latvia and Ventspils. It does not matter whether or not Lembergs is on the list. Besides, people must also be very careful when opting to vote for other parties, because Lembergs has clearly showed that he is good at manipulating them as well,” members of the opposition say.

According to them, since 2005 not a single For Latvia and Ventspils member has ever objected to Lembergs.

“His fellow party members have always kept silent, backing his questionable moves. They include such long-standing members of the party as Janis Vitolins and Guntis Blumbergs, as well as the so-called new leaders – Didzis Osenieks, MP Dana Reizniece-Ozola and Kristine Krasovska, head of Ventspils City Council division in charge of development.

They have never even tried to stand up for the rule of law and truly serve their country and the city. Lembergs is all they care about. They showed their standpoint long ago – the people of Latvia can wait, the main thing is that Lembergs is well-off.

“The call to vote for Lembergs’ party, while crossing out his name is actually yet another plot by the notorious oligarch,” sources close to Lembergs tell BNN.

They point out that this is how Lembergs wants to give an impression that he is retreating from politics.

“Most probably there is some reason why he has opted for such a move. Maybe yet another action has been brought against him. So, not to lose influence, he had to think of something. And he did – the cross-me-out plan was born,” sources say.

They also remind that the party has been losing about 12-16% of votes each municipal election and 2013 could bring the decisive blow.

“The false impression that the accused politician is no longer in charge might indeed help gather votes.”

It should be added that back in the municipal election of 2009, the turnout totalled 12 516 people or 50.48%. 7 685 voters or 59.96% favoured For Latvia and Ventspils, but 1 087 of them had crossed out Lembergs. There is another proof that people are not indifferent to what happens in their city – 3 000 more Ventspils residents took part in the parliamentary elections than in the local municipal elections.

The fact that the move is yet another plot might also be confirmed by the following – none of For Latvia and Ventspils members is objecting. Moreover, there is not a single critical remark in the newly created Twitter account (made especially for Lembergs’ cross-me-out campaign). It only features the names of Osenieks and Reizniece-Ozola.

So this means that if Lembergs is indeed crossed out of the list, the very essence of the party will not change. Overthrown from the top post, he will still be behind all municipal decisions.

The opposition of Ventspils City Council suggests voters and the media making effort to find out what exactly their favourite parties represent. The best thing to do is to ask questions like: “Do you support appointment of Lembergs in any government or municipal posts? Will you make sure that all the City Council members have equal rights to voice their concern in the media, directly or indirectly backed by the municipality? Will you make sure all the City Council members have access to the information they request?”

Members of the opposition point out that For Latvia and Ventspils representatives have all the possibilities to show right away that they no longer have anything in common with Lembergs.

“Why aren’t Janis Vitolins, Guntis Blumbergs, Didzis Osenieks, Dana Reizniece-Ozola, Kristine Krasovska and their fellow party members making moves to re-elect the Mayor already today? Why aren’t they dismissing Lembergs from his municipal posts and the board of Ventspils Freeport? Why aren’t they demanding Lembergs to step down and pledge that he will never again run in the election?”

Members of the opposition urge For Latvia and Ventspils members to make sure that the opposition can attend each and every meeting of the City Council. They also want the party’s members to appoint the opposition’s representative in the board of Ventspils Freeport and provide all the requested information.


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