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Sunday 15.09.2019 | Name days: Sandra, Gunvaldis, Gunvaris, Sondra
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Riga City Council permitted to elect mayor after two-month deadline

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In spite of the fact that 21 August will mark two months of Riga City Council working without a mayor, a condition that permits Latvia’s Saeima to dismiss the entire city council, deputies of the municipality will nonetheless have the right to elect a mayor after the deadline, says Environment Protection and Regional Development Minister Juris Pūce’s advisor for legal affairs Valdis Verners.

If a city council works without a chairman for two months, the Cabinet of Ministers can initiate a request for the Saeima to dissolve such a city council. Nevertheless, even after the deadline members of the city council will still have the right to elect a new mayor because they do not lose their status, he explains.

«In accordance with the Law on Local Governments, they are able to hold city council meetings and make decisions, including the political decision on election of a new city council chairman,» explains Verners.

If a new chairman is elected, the Saeima loses its right to dismiss the city council.

According to the ministry’s representative, if a new mayor is not elected in Riga before 21 August, the ministry will ask the city council to provide explanations on failure to comply with the law.

Once explanations have been received, the Environment Ministry will prepare a legislative draft on dismissal of the city council, allowing for a temporary administration and organization of new municipal elections. Development of this legislative draft could last two weeks.

If the Cabinet of Ministers decides on dismissing Riga City Council, it will accept the legislative draft and submit it to the Saeima. The parliament usually views legislative drafts in three weeks’ time.

«The Saeima can also view the legislative draft in two readings. Still, it is not possible to predict the actual term. It could be a week or several months; it depends on decisions from Saeima deputies,» explains Environment Ministry’s representative, adding that the city council becomes dismissed once the law on dismissal of the city council comes to force.

Until the Saeima has made its final decision, city council deputies preserve their status and remain able to elect a chairman. Work performed by the city council is managed by an acting chairman. In this case it is Oļegs Burovs.


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