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Sunday 29.03.2020 | Name days: Agija, Aldonis

Riga City Council at it again. Harmony and For Riga! bloc to request Burovs’ dismissal

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Riga City Council, GKR, Harmony, split

Oļegs Burovs

Political parties Harmony and members of For Riga! bloc will insist on replacing the head of Riga City Council Oļegs Burovs, LETA found out.

The bloc of independent deputies and Harmony’s city council faction has agreed to invite coalition partners – Honour to Serve Riga – to decide on replacing the current mayor because parties are unable to work with Burovs.

The main conflict among coalition partners revolved around Burovs «taking charge» over the coalition’s work and regularly avoids consulting with partners when making decisions.

Harmony and For Riga! bloc are nevertheless prepared to continue working with Honour to Serve Riga and remain in the coalition.

Leading coalition politicians admit Burovs is «an excellent professional», but he lacks political experience in managing a coalition. This is why politicians intend to ask Honour to Serve Riga to pick a new mayor.

Politicians do not care which coalition bloc the new mayor may come from.

«It seems Burovs has given up and believes the city council is as good as dismissed, which is why he has engaged in a pre-election campaign instead of managing the city council,» says Riga’s vice-mayor from For Riga! bloc Druvis Kleins.

He told journalists on Wednesday, 8 January, that deputies are dissatisfied with the work performed by the City Development Committee, where the lack of quorum makes work impossible. Kleins reminds that deputies agreed to vote for Burovs under the condition that a number of tasks would be performed, such as doubling «maternity benefits», but this section does not appear in the next year’s budget project. On top of that, no separate committee is composed to work with family policy affairs, nor are there any solutions in the works to reduce queues to kindergartens. Deputies also accuse Burovs of not complying with the coalition agreement.

«Burovs believe all decisions can be made without consulting with partners. We find this style unacceptable,» says Kleins, adding that work under this kind of style cannot continue.

According to city council vice-chairperson Anna Vladova, Burovs is an excellent department director and professional, but this is not enough to lead a city council. «We can say that Burovs has not demonstrated an excellent management style these past six months,» Vladova concluded.

She agrees with Kleins that decisions in the city council are made by a single person and sometimes decisions are not subject to review.

The deputy stressed that she does not understand why in December 2019 Burovs had warned about a complicated budget and the need to review different municipal programmes only to make a 180 degrees turn now and declare the budget will be good.

«Currently many processes are being actively slowed – in the waste management sector and in relation to Brasas Bridge,» Vladova continued.

She added that an extraordinary meeting of the city council has been called to decide on Burovs’ dismissal.

«You’ve never seen any arguments between [ex-vice mayor Andris] Ameriks and [ex-mayor Nils] Ušakovs, because it was a clever policy. But now everything is like an open book, because Burovs wants to demonstrate he is alone and he makes decisions alone,» says deputy Mihails Kameņeckis.

As previously reported, the stability of Riga City Council’s coalition was shaken in the past several days. The main reason for discontent was the inability to reach an agreement on points of the coalition agreement and principles for implementation.

Read also: Another split? Riga City Council’s leading powers have trouble with coalition agreement

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