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Ceturtdiena 09.04.2020 | Name days: Valērija, Žubīte
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Saeima conceptually supports Riga City Council dismissal

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Riga City Council, dismissal, legislative draft, VARAM, SaeimaLatvia’s Saeima has conceptually supported the legislative draft detailing Riga City Council’s dismissal. It provides for dismissing the city council and appointing an interim administration, as reported by Saeima’s press-service.

The objective of the legislative draft is preventing Riga City Council’s illegal activity in not complying with the autonomous functions detailed in the Law on Waste Management, Law on Local Governments and other regulations – organization of household waste collection, as reported by Saeima’s press-service.

After dismissal of the city council, it is planned to appoint an interim administration. Environment Protection and Regional Development Ministry’s state secretary Edvīns Balševics may be appointed as the head of the interim administration. Other members of the administration may include Finance Ministry’s Legal Affairs Department director Artis Lapiņš and Justice Ministry’s Legal Affairs Department vice director Aleksejs Remesovs.

The law provides for ensuring the interim administration takes over the local municipal council’s functions, as well as financial and economic operations. The head of the interim administration will perform the duties of the City Council chairman.

It is planned for the interim administration’s work to be financed from Riga City’s budget.

The legislative project states that election of a new Riga City Council is to take place on the first Saturday two months after the day listed in the municipality dismissal law and the Central Election Commission is to announce elections no later than the fifth day after the coming into force of the new law.

Provisional estimates state that snap elections in Riga may cost EUR 862.7 thousand in 2020.

Riga City Council’s dismissal was initiated because, according to VARAM, has systematically committed violations over a long period of time. Residents have complained about them and state institutions have pointed to them, including State Audit, Organized Crime and Specialized Office of the Prosecutor, the legislative draft mentions.

Read also: Burovs picked as Honour to Serve Riga candidate list leader in snap elections

As for waste management, it is mentioned that in signing of the waste management contracts Riga City Council has not complied with regulations on public procurements and has not taken into account Environment Protection Ministry’s criticisms about the situation and Competition Council’s report on the temporary regulation. Authors of the legislative draft stress that Riga City Council still has not provided residents with an adequate household waste collection solution even with the state of emergency. This is why it is planned to use the option outlined in the law to dismiss the city council.

It is planned for Riga City Council Dismissal Law to come to force the day after its approval.

Saeima has picked 3 January as the date for the second reading of the Riga City Council dismissal legislative draft. The final reading is planned for 16 January.


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