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Supreme Court of Justice views Kristovskis’ claim against Ventspils City Council

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUOn 25 April, the Administrative Cases Department of the Supreme Court of Justice will be viewing two claims submitted by Ventspils City Council deputy Ģirts Valdis Kristovskis against the city council. «The fact that the case will be viewed verbally and that the defendants include Ventspils City Council, EPRDM and Association of Local Governments is considered unique and unprecedented in Latvia’s court practice,» says Kristovskis.

As it is known, Kristovskis has turned with a claim to court because he believes the management of Ventspils municipality refused to provide him with requested documents that govern the city council’s work in spite of multiple repeated requests. The city council’s management also refused to publish this information on the official ventspils.lv portal. Because the Environment Protection and Regional Development Ministry refused to evaluate Ventspils City Council’s illegal activities and put an end, this matter has been delegated to the court.

«By accepting the claim and added evidence, the Supreme Court confirmed that it admits there is a lack of an effective rights-protection mechanism for situation when the rights and duties of minority deputies are limited by the majority deputies and management of municipal administrations, as it happens in Ventspils City Council’s case,» says Kristovskis.

In spite of many repeated requests from Krisovskis, the ministry responsible for monitoring municipalities has yet to take any action. He says this situation basically leaves the opposition unable to use basic rights detailed in Article 101 of the Constitution – to participate in work of municipal administration and fully represent their voters’ interests.

Environment Protection and Regional Development Ministry has no influence at all, and sometimes it seems it has no desire to exercise its rights and perform its duties. This situation most likely appeared because the institution is led by a minister who represents a specific political party.

Because of this little fact, the minister and his institution refuse to oppose municipalities managed by their or at least friendly political party. «From this we can conclude that Latvia lacks an effective legal mechanism that would help resolve restriction of rights used against opposition members in Ventspils,» he says.

The Supreme Court is also asked to change existing court practice in relation to municipal deputies’ rights to receive information from leaders of city councils, municipal institutions and capital associations, as well as information from other officials.


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