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City mayor survives second no confidence vote

Jan 08, 2014
From wire reports and TBT staff, RIGA

A second no confidence vote against Riga mayor Nils Usakovs has failed.

A total of 37 Harmony Center and Honor To Serve Riga members voted to support Usakovs whilst eighteen opposition council members from  opposition parties, All For Latvia-For Fatherland And Freedom/LNNK and Unity,  voted against the mayor after a two-hour debate last night (Jan. 7)

The calls for Usakovs' resignation come from VL-TB/LNNK group leader Baiba Broka. She has criticized Riga City Council for arrogance and not working in Rigans' interest, and that the Zolitude tragedy did not prompt the city council to objectively look at its past mistakes and find a way to correct them.

The opposition also criticized Riga City Council's majority for squandering Rigans' money, dividing society, not doing anything to enforce construction regulations and prevent corruption risks, for obscure subsidies to the "Rigas satiksme" public transport company, populism and ensuing chaos in promising public transport discounts from January 1 that have still not come into force.

However, coalition members criticized the opposition for calling a city council meeting the outcome of which was clear even before it began.

They said Usakovs was a highly successful mayor and could hardly be replaced by anyone, and blamed VL-TB/LNNK and Unity, two government parties, for not bringing order to the construction industry on a national level.

Usakovs himself informed Riga City Council members that the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development had approved Sigulda Town Council's regulations on public transport discounts, which were almost the same as those in Riga.

"With or without the Constitutional Court's decision, we will achieve what we want," Usakovs said, adding that public transport discounts for Riga residents would be approved sooner or later."

Hundreds of pro and anti Usakovs supporters rallied in Riga last year following the Maxima supermarket roof collapse in Riga that killed 54 people. 

A no confidence vote was presented to the mayor following the rally which also failed.

What's your thoughts on the story? Do you think Riga mayor Usakovs should stay or go? Let us know with your comments below.

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