RIGA - With support from opposition members of Riga City Council, Vadims Baranniks (NDF) was today dismissed as Riga vice-mayor.
Altogether, 40 votes were cast for Baranniks' removal, with members of Harmony and Honor to Serve Riga (GKR), as well as all opposition councilors voting for his dismissal.
Six independent councilmen did not participate in the vote, although they were present at the city council meeting.
Opposition councilors commented that they voted to remove Baranniks because "he is not and has never been suitable for the post of vice-mayor". Now, the opposition's plan is to call three extraordinary council meetings in a row and to not attend them, thus providing grounds for the city council's dissolution.
Baranniks' sacking and ending cooperation with the Group of Independent Councilmen (NDF) were the two conditions set by Harmony for preserving its coalition with GKR.
Last week Harmony announced that it was ready to continue work in the coalition if GKR suspended cooperation with NDF. NDF lawmakers earlier were members of Harmony faction, but were expelled.
GKR agreed to suspend cooperation with NDF last week, leaving the ruling coalition in Riga with 28 votes on the city council, which has 60 seats in total.
Baranniks was appointed Riga vice-mayor on March 29, shortly before Nils Usakovs (Harmony) was fired as Riga mayor.