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Tuesday 21.01.2020 | Name days: Agne, Agnese, Agnija
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Ultimatums from Harmony and For Riga! bloc slow Burovs’ efforts to form coalition

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Oļegs Burovs, Riga City Council, coalition, Honour to Serve Riga, Harmony, For Riga!

Riga City Council chairman Oļegs Burovs (L) and Riga Forests board member Aivars Tauriņš (R)

The political party Honour to Serve Riga has not agreed to multiple conditions set by Harmony and For Riga! bloc for the formation of a new coalition in Riga City Council. This includes Harmony condition to create a third vice-mayor post, as well as the party’s proposed changes to the approach for supervision of businesses.

Because of the mayor’s party’s refusal, the two parties decided to boycott the meeting of Thursday, 28 November.

As journalists were told by Mayor of Riga Oļegs Burovs, politics is an art of compromise, but every compromise has a limit and a price. He confirmed that Honour to Serve Riga had previously reached an agreement with For Riga! bloc and Harmony that the seat of vice-mayor of Riga could be given to Druvis Kleins, the seat in Riga Freeport authority – to Oskars Putniņš, and the seat of the head of the City Development Committee – to independent deputy Baiba Broka. At the same time, there was also the agreement that Kleins would supervise the public transport company SIA Rīgas satiksme.

Read also: For Riga bloc may Burovs’ remainder as Riga’s mayor; pick their own man to be vice-mayor

However, on Thursday morning Honour to Serve Riga received a coalition agreement document signed by 16 deputies from Harmony, three deputies from For Riga! and Baiba Broka. Had Honour to Serve Riga signed the document, the coalition would have been formed. However, the political party disagreed with multiple points of the agreement.

The agreement mentioned that following the budget’s approval a third vice-mayor post would be formed specifically for Sandris Bergmanis. In the end, however, Honour to Serve Riga decided it is too soon to consider creating a third vice-mayor post, considering the budget is not yet ready.

«Voting for a third vice-mayor without seeing the budget first seems too early,»

said Burovs, adding that the agreement also mentioned a proposal to leave LLC Riga Forests in Kleins’ hands in the event of him not being elected vice-mayor.

The current supervisor of Riga Forests Burovs said his party does not intend to agree with this, because for years the company has worked successfully and it has long been under once the vice-mayor of Riga Andris Ameriks’ supervision. «We ask who would benefit and why should we agree to this,» said Burovs.

Partners had suggested other questionable proposals. This is why Honour to Serve Riga later prepared its own coalition agreement offer, which stated that talks about creating a third vice-mayor post would start after approval of Riga’s budget for 2020.

The party offered to discuss the distribution of areas of responsibility after 31 December, at the same time agreeing to hand over Rīgas satiksme to Kleins.

Partners did not agree with this offer. As a result, only ten deputies attended the meeting.


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