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Sunday 28.05.2017 | Name days: Vilhelms, Vilis
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Puce: Nils Ushakovs intends to appropriate municipal intellectual property

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUJuris Puce, leader of For Latvia’s Development party and mayoral candidate for the upcoming Riga City Council elections, has turned to State Police and Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau, asking authorities to assess the behaviour of Riga Mayor Nils Ushakovs in handing over management of social network accounts owned and financed by the municipality to a private person.

On 15 March, Ushakovs announced his decision to entrust the management of one of Riga City Council’s official Facebook pages to himself and other unnamed individuals. Riga City Council’s official Facebook page, which has over 20,000 followers, is financed using Riga municipality’s finances.

«It seems Ushakovs intends to just hand over management over communications activities and content creation in newspapers, portals and social networks to some unknown third parties,» Puce explains.

Considering that it is prohibited by the Law on Prevention of Squandering of the Financial Resources and Property of a Public Person to hand over public property to third parties for gratuitous use, actions performed by Ushakovs can be considered as breach of said law and should be criminally prosecuted.

«It can be classified as theft of municipal intellectual property. Such actions can be considered a criminal act. This is why we have turned to State Police to investigate this situation,» Puce notes.

In addition, according to Section 26 of the Law on Pre-election Campaign Before the Local Government Elections, if the municipal government allocates space on its territory or allows the use of its property to some election organizer, the municipal government also has to provide the same level of access to the same property for other election campaign organizers.

«There are reasons for concern that such a resource owned by the municipality can be used as a powerful pre-election tool at the upcoming elections. We believe that all pre-election campaign organizers should be given equal opportunities to use municipal resources. This is why we ask KNAB to perform all the necessary activities to allow other pre-election campaign organizers to use Riga City Council’s official Facebook page,» said Juris Puce.

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