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Saturday 15.12.2018 | Name days: Jana, Johanna, Hanna
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Riga mayoral candidate: Nils Ušakovs – splits pie to benefit of everyone, including himself

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The current Mayor of Riga expects to remain in office. His announcements show both certainty about his victory and self-assertion.

The public was surprised when he confessed that his political alliance «Saskaņas Centrs» (Concord Centre) has no «plan B» in case of election defeat. Opinion polls show residents of Riga do praise Ušakovs’ accomplishments while in office. This, however, is a likely protest opinion.

In Riga, right-wing policy has dominated for a longer time. This period is reminiscent with constant corruption charges and stagnating growth in the capital. «Saskaņas Centrs» won last municipal elections in 2009 because of the then protest mood. It cannot be denied that Ušakovs has worked performing the functions of Riga city mayor. Fields that lacked action previously have advanced during his time in office.

Corruption scandals, however, have not left the City Council and, to the minds informed people, corruption is now systematic. There is a simple explanation to this problem: members of «Saskaņas Centrs» had spent more than ten years in opposition, finally they came to power and took advantage of it. According to Ušakovs’ latest financial statement on the year 2012, he has earned LVL 19,300 (EUR 27460) as a mayor and LVL 35,000 (EUR 49800) at the council of Riga free-port.

As has been unveiled by Eduards Grubevičs who left the political alliance, the elected members of the City Council also work in councils of municipal companies receiving large salaries. Some of them work part-time as security guards at nursery schools.

Money matters

During the rule of Ušakovs, Riga has experienced the development of some inadequately expensive building projects. Theft of funds has been detected in municipal companies Rīgas Namu Pārvaldnieks and Rīgas Nami. LVL 10 million have been lost in Latvijas Krājbanka.

A private business of maxi-taxis was taken over by municipal company Rīgas Satiksme, but a year after a company linked to the closest aide of Ušakovs – Andris Ameriks – begun offering these transport services. Shady deals have been found at almost every Riga municipal business.

Informed people say the real control of municipal economy is still in the hands of Ameriks’ party «Gods kalpot Rīgai» – a coalition partner of «Saskaņas Centrs». Ušakovs seems to agree silently. Many members of «Saskaņas Centrs» have left the political alliance considering that its values have been compromised.

Values of «Saskaņas Centrs»

Many have forgotten that this political alliance pushed for pro-Russia policy before the 2010 parliamentary elections. However, shortly after the vote, with the first results emerging, Nils Ušakovs stated that his political alliance recognises the fact that the USSR occupied the Republic of Latvia in 1940.

This obvious but previously denied fact was now recognised with a single intention – to get into the Saeima coalition. When «Saskaņas Centrs» was denied participation, the political alliance returned to obedient following of the orders of Moscow.

The Russian-speaking residents of the capital (their number reaching close to half the city’s population) approve of this policy and those, who don’t, have not stood against it. As long as this situation will remain, «Saskaņas Centrs» will not lose its popularity. Ironically, a third of the supporters of Nils Ušakovs are Latvians. This can still be explained with the traditional position of the alliance to manoeuvre the divided society.

Mayor’s statements are always careful and everyone will interpret them as they please. It is also important that there are two distinct environments of information – the Latvian and the Russian-speaking. Nils Ušakovs, being a former journalist, is well aware and takes advantage of it, by saying one thing to Latvians and another – to Russians.

Ref: 111.111.111.047


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  1. Kanuk says:

    How can such an opinionated article not have an author ?

    • Uldis says:

      Whatever you may agree or not with Ušakovs, this article is anything but journalism. We have many problems in Latvia: politicians, journalists …

  2. Elvis says:

    Yes. We also know what happens with those journalists who criticize too much. Leonids Jakobsons has now a beautiful face.

    • Costelo says:

      Of course we know how dangerous is to give your opinion in Latvia, even if you think that our national currency is gonna be devaluated you can be arrested. But, opinions are great, we should defense the right to opine, freedom speech and so on. But this article isn’t an information article, so should be in opinion section or at least signed. But of course, if we don’t know what is journalism…

  3. Vladimir says:

    This is all bullshit, none of this is actually true. Nil Usakovs during his 4 years peroid as the Riga’s chairman did much more than previous mayors did for the last 20 years. This article is written by typycall nacionalist – jurnalist who hates everithing that relates to russsia and russian people. All ryssian people and a huge part of ethnic latvians have elected him as a new mayour of Riga for the next 4 years. That shows that nearly 60% of Riga’s citizens do trust him.

  4. JPR says:

    Funny!

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