Latviski English По-русски
Sunday 19.01.2020 | Name days: Alnis, Andulis

«Their hands are dirty.» Opposition in Riga refuses to work with Harmony and HSR

(No Ratings Yet)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RURefusing to cooperate with deputies of parties of the ruling coalition and accusing them of problems in the capital city, the majority of the opposition in Riga City Council say they see no way to take over power in the municipality. Nevertheless, political party Latvijas attīstībai theoretically considers doing that without involvement from coalition politicians.

National Alliance «All for Latvia – for Fatherland and Freedom/LNNK» faction leader Nauris Puntulis said the party remains adamant against working together with Harmony. «Their hands are so dirty we cannot cooperate with people that will likely no longer work in Harmony,» said Puntilis, commenting on the possibility of working with ex-Harmony city council deputies.

The National Alliance also refuses to work with Honour to Serve Riga, saying that «across the years this party has been Harmony’s partner and their ‘contribution’ is no smaller than Harmony’s,» he added.

He concluded that currently the opposition has no options of taking over power in Riga City Council without working with deputies that were excluded from Harmony.

Vilnis Ķirsis, head of Unity’s faction in Riga City Council, said he is not prepared to cooperate with HSR or Harmony. On top of that, none of these factions have proposed any proposals for negotiations, added the deputy.

According to Ķirsis, Riga City Council is in a chaotic state, because «big brothers have left and the younger brothers are at each other’s throats, fighting over inheritance». Ķirsis believes it is necessary to wait until both conflicting parties have sorted themselves out.

The politician added that he plans to meet with other opposition parties to discuss future steps.

New Conservative Party’s faction leader Jānis Ozols is of a similar opinion. «We can see the following situation – spiders fighting in a jar. We have nothing in common with them regardless which one of them is in charge,» he said.

He said the 32 coalition members in Riga City Council are a voting machine, which is why it would be naïve to expect any of them to get better.

Ozols believes the people who have left the faction remain HSR and Harmony’s «business partners» with common interests. This is why, according to Ozols, it will be easier for them to work with those parties than with NCP.

Ozols says it is necessary to survey the situation and discuss it with other opposition parties.

Meanwhile, Latvijas attīstībai faction leader Viesturs Zeps says what is currently happening in the city council opens the way for the opposition to form a new coalition in Riga.

Zeps says coalition is expected to give signals to explain what is happening and how the opposition should act. «Because of external reasons Nils Ušakovs and Andris Ameriks will no longer be in the city council in July. This means the centre of power will change. This is an opportunity for the opposition to stop barking and start working together,» he said, adding that this is not about uniting with the existing coalition but forming a new one altogether.

He explained that theoretically the opposition may have an option to form a coalition in Riga City Council to match the coalition in the Saeima. This would offer greater opportunities to «pull Riga out of the mire», he said.

According to Zeps, the opposition should unite and hold no-confidence vote to the newly-elected Mayor of Riga Dainis Turlais and instead elect someone else. «We are focused on cooperation, but it is nonetheless clear cooperation with Harmony and Honour to Serve Riga is not possible. Opposition parties should use this opportunity,» he said.

As for the four deputies excluded from Harmony, Zeps said there will be no cooperation with them. «If they support proposals from the opposition, there is no way for us to prevent them from doing that. However, there is no room for cooperation,» said the politician.

At the same time, he says everyone in the city council is waiting to see what comes of the dispute between coalition parties.

As previously reported, Harmony’s faction in Riga City Council has unexpectedly split after Dainis Turlais was elected Mayor of Riga. Four members have been excluded from Harmony’s faction for «serious violations». These fore are Vice-Mayor of Riga Vadims Baraņņiks and deputies Valērijs Petrovs, Aleksejs Rosļikovs and Vitālijs Dubovs.

Leave a reply

Week in Lithuania: police on hunt of a child’s kidnapper, 2020 conscription list announced, Belarus seeks Lithuania’s help

In Lithuania, the top news stories last week were the police hunt of a child’s kidnapper, the announcement of the 2020 conscription list and Belarus seeking Lithuania’s help court.

BNN summary of the week: Lay-offs at LDz. KNAB wrapped around ZZS’ finger. Ķuzis steps down

The last week demonstrated that not everything that glitters is gold. Although previously Latvian Railway proudly reported growing freights and revenue, the statement released in the middle of the week suggests the company is not in the best state – the company plans to lay off 1 500 workers by the end of the year.

FKTK lists exceptions in which banks are allowed to service Aivars Lembergs

Latvian Finance and Capital Market Commission has listed cases in which Latvia’s finance market participants will be allowed to service Aivars Lembergs, who is subjected to US OFAC sanctions and accused of serious crimes, and three organizations associated with him – Ventspils Development Agency, Business Development Association and Latvian Transit Business Association.

Appropriate jobs promised for laid-off LDz workers

Latvian State Employment Agency promises to find appropriate jobs for laid-off Latvian Railway workers. If need be, those people will be provided the opportunity for re-qualification, raise their qualification or train for a new profession, as confirmed by the agency’s representative Signe Bierande.

Bordāns selects potential candidates to lead the Supreme Court and Prosecutor General’s office

I can see people who could take the reins over the Office of the Prosecutor General and the Supreme Court and change their work standards, Latvian Justice Minister Jānis Bordāns told TV3 programme 900 seconds when asked about any potential candidates to lead those institutions.

Ukrainian Prime Minister ready quit after leaked voice recording

Ukrainian head of government Oleksiy Honcharuk has offered to resign following the circulation of an audio recording, where criticism of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and his knowledge in economy is voiced.

Inflation in Latvia reportedly higher than Europe’s and Eurozone’s in December

In December 2019 inflation in Latvia was higher than the average in the European Union and Eurozone, according to information published by Eurostat on Friday, 17 January.

Estonian population growth continues in 2019 due to immigration

Estonia has registered in 2019 population growth for the fifth consecutive year and it can be explained with immigration not with natural growth, according to preliminary data released by Statistics Estonia.

BNN investigation | Raunas street property: quiet assistant with a «secret wallet» for Lembergs

There are suspicions that Aivars Lembergs, subjected to international sanctions, has sold real estate located on Raunas Street 27 in Riga to his sister «on paper only». This may have been done to avoid confiscation of properties in the event of a guilty verdict or a possible arrest over the real estate property. However, it is possible Lembergs maintains full control over this real estate property and, most likely, the property is used to fatten his wallet on a regular basis.

Audit: majority of Latvian housing stock has degraded to a state of a slum

Since the denationalization effective access to housing security in Latvia does not exist and most of the housing stock has degraded up to a state of a slum, as concluded by the Latvian State Audit.

Prime minister affirms possibility of carrying oil supplies for Belarus through Latvia

During his meeting with Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko on Thursday, 16 January, Latvian Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš affirmed that oil supplies for Belarus may be possible using Latvia’s ports.

Rain in Australia provides relief to continuing fight against bushfires

In eastern Australia, which has been suffering in prolonged and disastrous bushfires, heavy rain has been falling for the past 24 hours.

Weather to remain warm in Latvia at week’s end

At the end of the week the sky in Latvia will become clear and the sun will shine. No precipitation is expected. However, a low atmospheric pressure area will approach the country from the west during weekends, as reported by Latvian Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

GKR helps overthrow Riga’s vice-mayors and put an end to ruling coalition

Riga City Council vice-chairperson Anna Vladova and deputy Druvis Kleins lost their respective posts at an extraordinary meeting on Thursday, 16 January. This happened because multiple deputies from Honour to Serve Riga voted together with the opposition in favour of dismissing them.

Latvian Railway plans to lay off 1 500 employees

Latvian Railway plans to terminate labour relations with approximately 1 500 employees before the end of 2020, as reported by the company’s representative Ella Pētermane.

Russian State Duma approves Putin’s new Prime Minister

The Russian State Duma has approved on Thursday, January 16, the candidacy of the country’s next Prime Minister appointed by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Ventspils opposition invites Pūce to act to prevent US sanctions from spreading to city council

Environment Protection and Regional Development Ministry and especially Juris Pūce have to act to resolve the current state of Ventsils City Council. It should be dismissed, as the municipal government does not have moral, ethical or legal foundation to continue managing and implementing the criminal management’s policy, according to Ventspils City Council opposition deputies.

Trade unions urge Latvian government to resolve transit businesses’ blocked bank accounts problem

Multiple trade unions associated with the transit industry have turned to Latvia’s highest ranking officials with a request to resolve the situation with bank accounts of multiple transit companies having been blocked because of US sanctions against Aivars Lembergs. If the government does not act, trade unions promise to organize massive protests.

Anris Leimanis picked as RB Rail council chairman

Anris Leimanis, independent council member from Latvian shareholder, has been picked as Rail Baltica joint Baltic company AS RB Rail council chairman. Ahti Kuningas and Karolis Sankovskis will serve as vice-chairmen, as confirmed by the company.

CSP: number of residents at risk of poverty declines in Latvia

In 2018 a total of 434 thousand persons or 22.9 % of the population of Latvia were at risk of poverty – 0.4 percentage points less than in 2017.

Latvian Saeima to ask Denmark to not extradite Kristīne Misāne to South African Republic

On Thursday, 16 January, Latvian Saeima made the decision to protect the rights of Latvian citizen Kristīnes Misāne, asking the Danish parliament and Danish law enforcers to support their Latvian colleagues and find a solution to avoid extraditing her to the South African Republic, as reported by Saeima’s press-service.

Smiltēns: Riga City Council’s situation can be described – divide, redistribute and plunder

«The situation in at Riga City Council can be described with three words – divide, redistribute, plunder,» said leader of Latvian Association of Regions Edvards Smiltēns in an interview to LTV programme Rīta panorama on Thursday, 16 January.

One single vote left the Lithuanian election system intact

The understanding that Lithuania’s election system needs changes is nearly overwhelming, but the ruling Farmers and Greens’ attempt to lower the Parliament election threshold in parties’ multi-member constituency from current 5 per cent to 3 per cent suffered a setback this week.

Estonian power grid executive detained over bribery suspicion

The Estonian Internal Security Service has detained a board member of the Elektrilevi power grid operator over suspicion of taking a bribe.

Demographer: Latvia has the lowest birth rate level observed the past decade

Birth rates continued to decline in Latvia in 2019. The lowest level of the past decade was reached in the country last year, says demographer Ilmārs Mežs.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!