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Usakovs will not be reelected Riga mayor - Green Party candidate Belevics

Jan 30, 2013

RIGA - In an interview with LETA, the Latvian Green Party's Riga mayor candidate Guntis Belevics said that Harmony Center leader Nils Usakovs will not be reelected Riga mayor, as he is only a ''one-day'' mayor, and will be leaving his successor with completely empty coffers.

Belevics admitted that Usakovs has been successful in creating a positive image for himself for voters, and if there was an election between all the previous city mayors, most Riga residents would vote for Usakovs.

However, Belevics also believes that Riga deserves a better mayor, as Usakovs is only a ''one day'' mayor. ''We see this clearly when we look at the municipal budget, which has been confirmed with a 35 million lats or seven percent deficit in 2013. Usakovs' ''success story'' is based on the 89 million lats accumulated by previous city councils,'' Belevics believes.

He also admitted that Riga's municipal coffers have seen reasonable earning the past two or three years, but this is cannot really be credited to Usakovs. ''If the state's economy improves, so does Riga's, as the city generates over 50 percent of the country's GDP. Instead of trying to accumulate these earning, each year the Riga City Council makes budget amendments and immediately spends all of it,'' the Green Party candidate said.

Belevics is confident that Usakovs will not be reelected Riga mayor, and that he is already showing signs of nervousness by attempting to completely spend the city's savings.

Five parties have already announced their mayoral candidates for the Riga City Council elections. Harmony Center has nominated Nils Usakovs for another term in office, Unity - Sarmite Elerte, All For Latvia-For Fatherland And Freedom/LNNK - Baiba Broka, Reform Party - Inga Antane, and the Latvian Green Party - Guntis Belevics.

The 2013 municipal elections will be held on June 1.

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