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After meeting with minister, Ventspils opposition decides to resume work in city council

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUAfter meeting with Latvia’s Environment Protection and Regional Development Minister Juris Pūce, opposition deputies of Ventspils City Council concluded that the minister is aware of and fully understands the situation in the city council. Because of that, members of the opposition have decided to once again start attending meetings of the city council, as confirmed by Ventspils City Council opposition deputy and European Parliament member candidate Ģirts Valdis Kristovskis.

As previously reported, all members of Ventspils City Council opposition had decided to stop attending city council meetings because on 12 April the ruling coalition refused to provide them with information regarding the municipality’s and some of its capital associations’ payments to Ventspils Development Agency.

On Thursday, 9 May, opposition deputies Ģirts Valdis Kristovskis, Dace Korna, Aivis Landmanis and Ivars Landmanis met with minister Juris Pūce and officials of the ministry and informed them how their rights to take part in work of city council’s committees and councils are unlawfully restricted and that they are not provided access to information regarding the municipality’s work and spending.

«We agreed with the minister to prepare and submit to the ministry all information we have on Ventspils Development Agency, in which the suspended chairman of Ventspils City Council Aivars Lembergs is paid the largest portion of his income, because we believe it is unacceptable for the head of the city council to receive wages for the same job in two places,» said Kristovskis.

He said Pūce affirmed his commitment to evaluating possible violations committed by both Ventspils City Council and its chairman.

When asked why Environment Protection and Regional Development Ministry did not respond immediately to the information the opposition had reported on violations committed by Ventspils City Council, Kristovskis allowed that the minister has been too busy lately to study this information. ‘Today we felt the minister is interested in our evidence of violations at Ventspils City Council,’ said Kristovskis.

As previously reported, Ventspils City Council opposition deputies had decided to cease taking part in city council meeting for as long as it takes the government and law enforcement institutions to take measures to normalize the situation in Ventspils City Council.

«Considering the ruinous impunity of Ventspils City Council’s administration, we turned to the government and Environment Protection and Regional Development Minister Juris Pūce on 25 March 2019 and later on 17 April 2018 with a request to take measures in order to put an end to downright criminal activities performed by the ruling coalition and legally restricted chairman Aivars Lembergs, as well as continued ignoring of laws and court rulings and authoritarianism that practices illegal organization of work and limitation of rights of minority deputies,» opposition members explained in their announcement.


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