RIGA - Environmental Protection and Regional Development Minister Juris Puce (For Development/For) has decided to step down, as For Latvia's Development party told LETA.
Puce made the decision after Riga City Council member Maris Micerevskis, who recently left For Development, said in a TV interview that Puce had requested him to obtain a Riga parking permit.
"I have made a mistake. I am ashamed of what I have done," Puce said in a statement.
"I sincerely apologize for my actions and I sincerely regret them. I have made a mistake regarding Riga municipal parking lots, I have really made a very bad choice. I have misled my colleagues and Latvian society," the outgoing minister said, emphasizing that he was taking full responsibility for his mistakes.
Puce believes that the current situation makes it impossible for him to continue working as the environmental protection and regional development minister, which is why he today submitted his resignation letter to Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins (New Unity).
Puce does not want the already difficult political environment to undermine public confidence in the government, because only with public support and understanding the country is able to develop by overcoming difficulties, said Puce.
As reported, the Corruption Prevention Bureau said that earlier today it would look into the allegation that Puce could have been illegally using a parking permit issued by the municipal public transport company Rigas Satiksme.
During an interview last night on Latvian Television, Riga City Council Member Maris Micerevskis, who recently left For Development, claimed that Puce had requested him to obtain a Riga parking permit.
Micerevskis said that Puce sent him an SMS, saying: ''Listen, I have a personal request for you. You will have to get a Riga parking permit.''.
Micerevskis then asked whether the minister himself needs this permit, and he said that the minister answered in the affirmative, and went on to say that the minister said that he has been using a parking permit from another Riga City Council member.