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Riga City Council’s dismissal draft makes its way through in the Saeima

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Riga City Council, VARAM, dismissal, law, SaeimaOn Wednesday, 18 December, Saeima submitted for review to the Budget and Finance Committee the legislative draft about the dismissal of Riga City Council. Thereby the draft has started its way through the parliament.

Attīstībai/Par! Saeima faction chairman Daniels Pavļuts says the dismissal of the largest municipality is an emergency. Legislation has outlined a high bar for municipal council dismissal and possible ruling of the Constitutional Court, said Pavļuts. The politician hopes such decisions in regards to city council dismissal will not appear often in the future.

It has been proposed to dismiss Riga City Council because of its failure to perform one of its autonomous functions – waste management, explains the head of AP faction. He also provided a historic look back, pointing out the city council’s inability to perform this function. The municipal council has ruined residents’ trust in its ability to work in accordance with the law, says Pavļuts.

Opposition politician Vjačeslavs Dombrovskis stressed that this is not about Riga City Council being good or bad.

«It is about values and if goals justify the means. At the end of the day, the coalition will demonstrate they have no values. This is about fairness and justice,» said the deputy.

Riga City Council can be good or bad, but it is elected by residents in honest elections. Dombrovskis says those who lost in elections now want to get rid of Riga City Council. According to him, the legislative draft reflects the coalition’s understanding of democracy, writing the name of the next head of the city council there in the process.

Dombrovskis is confident the coalition should look in a mirror because it has failed to fulfil a number of laws, which is grounds for the government’s and Saeima’s dismissal. He believes coalition parties lie to society, proposing different reasons for the municipality’s dismissal.

Although initially it was planned to submit the legislative draft to the Public Administration and Local Government Committee, deputy Vita Anda Tērauda urged instead to push the legislative draft to the Budget and Finance Committee. This was achieved with a five-vote advantage.

This step was necessary because the Public Administration and Local Government Committee would not have been able achieve majority of votes for the legislative draft’s progress in the Saeima, considering KPV LV party’s negative position towards Riga City Council’s dismissal. KPV LV representative in the Public Administration and Local Government Committee voted together with opposition deputies during the viewing amendments for snap election, thereby achieving a pause in viewing of proposed changes.

Read also: Snap elections in Riga may be postponed until March

On Tuesday, 17 December, Latvia’s Cabinet of Ministers decided to submit to the Saeima Environment Protection and Regional Development Ministry’s developed legislative draft regarding Riga City Council’s dismissal. The ministry decided to request the city council’s dismissal because the institution believes the local government has failed to fulfil one of the autonomous functions municipal administrations have – provide organization of household waste, said minister Juris Pūce at a press-conference.


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