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Sunday 16.12.2018 | Name days: Alvīne

Liepaja City Council vice-chairman steps down

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUOn Monday, 17 September, Liepaja City Council vice-chairman for tourism and investment affairs Ģirts Kronbergs announced his resignation.

It is expected that Liepaja Mayor Uldis Sesks (Liepaja Party) together with his coalition partner Jānis Vilnītis (Latvian Association of Regions) will discuss this matter on Tuesday, 18 September, as reported by Liepaja City Council chairman’s advisor for public affairs Andrejs Rjabcevs.

Kronbergs will remain a member of Liepaja City Council. He will also participate in Saeima elections as a candidate of Latvian Association of Regions, as confirmed by LAR Liepaja office manager Līga Zundmane.

As reported by portal, Kronbergs explained at a press-conference held this Monday that he made this decision because in a situation when coalition partners do not trust him personally it also casts a shadow over his colleagues.

Vilnītis said Kronbergs’ decision to step down was a brave act.

He claims Kronbergs made this decision on his own. However, it is possible the push towards it came from the very principles he himself follows in politics.

«We partake in politics defending honesty, openness and transparency in management. We promised to work in accordance with the belief that we are happy to live in Liepaja. Considering the loss of this happiness due to actions of former Liepaja resident in recent weeks, such a decision by Kronbergs is considered correct and respectable,» said Vilnītis.

He added that Kronbergs has made a politically responsible step and this, according to him, is the first time anyone in Liepaja has taken responsibility. Vilnītis also believes this will put an end to all speculations.

Kronbergs’ decision to step down comes a couple of days after political technologist Reinis Točelovskis’ announcement that the publication «What Kurzemes Vārds will never speak about» released prior to 2017 municipal election was financed and supported by mayor Uldis Sesks’ coalition partners Jānis Vilnītis and Ģirts Kronbergs.

Both of them denied this. However, Kronbergs did admit having correspondence with Točelovskis. He said the contents of their correspondence was taken out of context and misinterpreted. He says he recognizes some parts of the published material. As for the portion regarding financing pre-election newspaper, Kronbergs completely denies it.

Suspicions were voiced behind the scenes that Sesks’ side may use this announcement from Točelovskis could be used to back away from the promise to give the seat of the mayor of Liepaja to Vilnītis.

Last Thursday, these matters were discussed at a meeting between Latvian Association of Regions and Liepaja Party. According to Sesks, the topic regarding LAR’s possible cooperation with Točelovskis in the fake issue of Kurzemes Vārds is a serious trust matter. He said he doubts if it is possible to completely trust coalition partners from LAR.

‘As long as this shadow of a doubt remains, it is hard to trust and work with others. This is not just about one person or one party applied with manipulative methods – it affects all Liepaja residents. If even half of that correspondence is true, it means an open question as to who we can trust. Matters of ethics and good conscience have been swept under the election rug,’ said the mayor after the meeting.

Sesks said Kronbergs’ answers did not help clear things up. «We have agreed association Liepājnieki should decide on their own if they trust Kronbergs after all this,» said Sesks. This association is managed by Vilnītis.

When asked if what happened could affect the expected mayor rotation, Sesks says this was not discussed, adding that work of the entire council will be evaluated this autumn. Vilnītis said there should not be any influence because it does not apply to the coalition’s agreement.

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