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Friday 14.12.2018 | Name days: Gaisma, Auseklis
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Ministry to turn to prosecutor over Riga mayor's refusal to discuss real estate tax

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUEnvironment Protection and Regional Development Ministry has turned to the Prosecutor General’s Office with a request to investigate if Riga City Council Chairman Nils Ušakovs’ decisions have signs of a crime, as confirmed by the ministry’s representatives.

The Environment Ministry has turned to the Prosecutor General’s Office in response to an application submitted by Riga City Council faction of the National Alliance ‘All for Latvia’ – ‘For Fatherland and Freedom/LNNK’. In this application, the party detailed a possible non-compliance of city council committee meetings with regulations.

EPRDM explains that the topic regarding Real Estate Tax Benefits in Riga was unjustly removed from the agenda of a meeting of the city council’s Finance and Administrative Affairs Committee. With that, this topic was not discussed at the 17 October meeting. «Additionally, during the 5 November extraordinary meeting the chairman of the city council announced a break for an unspecified amount of time. At the same time, he did not explain any options to help prevent obstacles for this matter’s review in the future,» said the ministry’s representative.

On 9 November, the ministry turned to Riga City Council’s chairman with a request to explain the situation on non-compliance with regulations. «It is worth mentioning that existing regulations do not allow announcing a break for an unspecified amount of time. Additionally, In accordance with legislative rules, the city council chairman does not have the authority to single-handedly amend agendas of meetings organized by committees. All topics submitted for review during committee meetings have to be addressed,» the ministry explains.

The ministry adds: «Unfortunately, Riga City Council Chairman Nils Ušakovs offered no explanations for the situation in the response letter we received on 16 November 2018. Riga’s mayor also provided no information how and when violations will be fixed.»

State Administration Structure Law details that the state administration is subjected to laws just like any other structure. It functions within the borders of regulations. State administration uses its authority in accordance with its capacity and functions. With that said, municipal administrations also have to comply with regulations.

The ministry stresses that neither a municipal council nor any other municipal institution or official have the right to exceed their authority and act in breach of the law. The chairman of a city council is responsible for ensuring compliance with external regulations during meetings, as well as legislative work performed by members of the city council.

And so the ministry has decided to ask the Prosecutor General’s Office to check if there are signs of a crime in the decision made by the chairman of Riga City Council.


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