Deputies of Ventspils City Council that turned to Environmental Protection and Regional Development Minister Edmunds Sprudzs to decide on the relieving Aivars Lembergs of his duties are disappointed in the minister and the inability of the Reform Party (RP) to keep the promise given to its voters.
Sprudzs admits that he does not see it necessary to call an emergency meeting of Ventspils City Council, during which it would be possible to decide to relieve Aivars Lembergs and 1st Deputy Chairman in infrastructure questions Janis Vitolins from their offices.
«If this is the Reform Party’s (RP) attitude towards oligarchs, who, I remind, were the sole reason this party was formed in the first place, then this is their responsibility before the voters. I find it unfortunate that such high ranking politicians give up so easily on their beliefs and promises. I am disappointed that such things happen in Latvia’s politics. I do not mean Sprudzs in particular, although it seems politicians need to think about their ratings, the future and the coming municipal elections. Maybe, it is possible, that the RP saw its potential and decided it is incapable of fighting big oligarchs on its own,»- one of the authors behind the letter, opposition deputy Vladislavs Shafranskis said in an interview to BNN.
However, he adds: «We will continue to fight – there, where Lembergs broke the law. We will have legal proceedings: for example, the Grain Terminal will turn to the court about its plans to develop manufacturing. We will search for opportunities to make sure things are not done only in the interest of one specific person.»
Sprudzs sent Ventspils City Council as a second recipient a letter, in which he responded to opposition deputies Vladislavs Shafranskis and Ivars Landmanis. It is said in the minister’s letter that the decision to relieve the Chairman of the City Council of his duties is a political decision of the municipal city council.
«Section 28 of the Law on Local Governments does not directly state based on which questions a minister can call an emergency. However, when interpreting the law literally, those are questions the denied review of which could cause a serious threat the interests of society. Even though the said section does not openly prohibit the minister the right to call an emergency meeting based on political questions as well, the calling of such a meeting is not useful, because in the event if the Chairman of the City Council or Deputy Chairman use the majority of votes, it is hardly believable that City Council deputies would suddenly change their political views during the meeting and relieve the said officials from their duties,»- LETA cites the contents of the letter.
In the letter, Sprudzs points that the decision about the inclusion of the project is governed by the Law on Local Governments, which provides the order in which a project can be reviewed by appropriate commission and coordinates it with municipal institutions or its employees.
In relation to the Lembergs’ compliance with the issued security measures, the minister says that the Saeima, Cabinet of Ministers, the State and municipal institutions and other officials are prohibited to interfere with the activities of the prosecutor’s office. In accordance with that, it is not within the competency of a single minister or an entire ministry to assess the compliance with different kinds of security measures.
Based on the aforementioned information, opposition deputies are concerned that the highest ranking Ventspils City Council officials will continue to carry out their duties. With that, it is said that the continuous work of municipalities requires an immediate involvement of the EPRDM and the Cabinet of Ministers.
Shafranskis and Landmanis remind that due to the security measures issued against Aivars Lembergs by the Prosecutor General’s Office and Riga Regional Court since 2007, Lembergs has been incapable of fulfilling the duties of Mayor of Ventspils.