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Ceturtdiena 20.02.2020 | Name days: Smuidra, Vitauts, Smuidris

Opposition skips meeting and thereby lets Riga’s mayor keep his seat

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Riga City Council, mayor, dismissal, budget, Harmony, conflictMembers of opposition parties in Riga City Council skipped the meeting on Thursday, 7 February. Because of this there was no quorum and the meeting was thereby cancelled. This allowed Riga City Council chairman Oļegs Burovs keep his seat.

Only 20 members of the city council registered for the meeting, which is why Burovs declared that because of no quorum the meeting was cancelled.

As previously noted by National Alliance «All for Latvia-For Fatherland and Freedom/LNNK» faction leader Dainis Locis,

the opposition did not vote in favour of Burovs’ dismissal because only a couple of weeks are left until the city council’s dismissal and they would rather not prepare the soil for a new coalition.

Now that three consecutive meetings of Riga City Council have been cancelled due to no quorum, there is now legal basis for the Saeima to decide on Riga City Council’s dismissal. Having preserved his post, Burovs will technically remain Riga’s mayor until the Saeima’s vote. The city council is considered dismissed the moment the Saeima has voted on it.

In regards to the city council’s work, Burovs told journalists that if snap elections are postponed by another two months, he believes the city council will have to resolve all technical issues that have piled up over the past several months, as well as organize work of committees and try to approve the municipality’s budget.

If elections are organized at the end of April, Burovs believe the city council would have to try to resolve technical issues and approve the budget, or leave these tasks to the administrators who will be leading the city council in the period of time between dismissal and snap elections.

«We don’t know yet how we might approve the budget – we will see how things turn out,» said Burovs.

He also said talks with department leaders will continue in coming days. Through talks it will be possible to agree on organization of work until the budget has been approved.

Meanwhile, Harmony faction leader Anna Vladova says her faction is prepared to continue working until the city council has been dismissed, stressing that the party is prepared to approve a ‘balanced and normal budget’ that will detail their proposals, not just Burovs’ personal wishes.

Vladova says she does not understand «Burovs’ theatrics», but the faction is nonetheless prepared to propose budget viewing in the next couple of weeks together with their proposals.

As previously reported, Harmony political party and For Riga bloc of independent deputies have proposed organizing a no-confidence vote for Burovs. Representatives of both political powers had announced in January they would urge Burovs’ dismissal because of his management method and failure to comply with conditions of the coalition agreement.

Deputies urged Honour to Serve Riga faction to continue working under a different mayor, but the party did not agree with this. Instead the party proposed approving the budget first and then looking for the guilty.

Harmony was not prepared for this and instead announced they would not vote for the approval of the 2020 municipal budget under Burovs leadership.

Read also: Latvian ministry to request expansion of legislative act on Riga City Council’s dismissal

In the past couple of weeks the conflict between previous partners has only increased. At the end of January, with votes from Honour to Serve Riga vice-chairperson of Riga City Council Vladova and vice-chairman Druvis Kleins were dismissed.

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