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Monday 24.04.2017 | Name days: Nameda, Visvaldis, Ritvaldis
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Unity picks Vilnis Kirnis as its mayoral candidate in Riga

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Unity’s Riga City Council faction has picked Vilnis Kirsis as its mayoral candidate. The party plans to have an open list of candidates to encourage professionals from different fields to apply.

Unity’s chairman Andris Piebalgs mentioned at a press-conference that the party intends to start in elections with an open list, hoping to attract representatives of NGOs, associations and industry professionals. This would make it easier to manage the city council, as it would have capable people representing different industries.

The mayoral candidate was picked after listening to opinions of the party’s Riga faction. Kirsis was picked almost unanimously. Piebalgs also noted that Kirsis is young, ambitious and ready to put effort into making sure Unity succeeds. Piebalgs emphasized that the party wants to reach results at municipal elections equal to results of previous years, which is gaining support of at least 14-15% of voters.

In addition, Unity has teamed up with the National Alliance and the Union of Greens and Farmers in hopes of forming beneficial cooperation in Riga City Council after elections.

Kirsis mentioned during the press-conference that it is sad to see people flee from Riga because they do not wish to live there or cannot afford life in the capital. He also said it is currently hard for businessmen to start a business in Riga. This is because the current leadership of Riga City Council seems uninterested in developing the capital’s business environment.

Kirsis said that under his leadership, people will be able to find well-paid jobs in Riga in 2021. He says he wants to make sure Riga City Council is no longer a passive player in the business world. In addition, Unity plans to actively work to attract investors, because, according to the party, the current leadership of the municipality does nothing to help investors start a business in the city. As an example, he mentioned that the last time the Investment Council in Riga was called for a meeting was in 2011.

Unity’s candidate added that he plans to reduce queues for kindergartens and ensure properly planned road repairs. He also intends to make utilities cost less for residents.

A more detailed look at ideas and plans will be available at the beginning of next year.

When asked if he would consider working in the opposition, Kirsis said he leans more towards a positive outcome – him becoming Mayor of Riga. Nevertheless, he said he is prepared to work and fight to improve Riga.

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