If city council fails to elect new Riga mayor, National Alliance ready to nominate own candidate

  • 2019-08-19
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - If the city council’s attempt to elect a new Riga mayor fails today, the National Alliance is ready to nominate its own candidate for city mayor, Dainis Locis, chairman of the city council’s National Alliance group, told LETA.

He said that the National Alliance has decided to vote for Viesturs Zeps (For Development of Latvia) in today’s election, but if the vote produces no mayor, the group is ready to assume the initiative and nominate someone from their midst. The National Alliance group will only decide on its own candidate if today’s election fails, Locis said.

He said that right-wing parties need to stick together and that the National Alliance would be ready to try and convince potential partners to cooperate if necessary.

As reported, Riga City Council is due to convene for an extraordinary meeting this morning to elect a new city mayor.

At present, there are two candidates officially nominated for Riga mayor – opposition councilman Viesturs Zeps (For Development of Latvia) and acting Riga mayor Olegs Burovs (Honor to Serve Riga, GKR).

To get elected, a candidate has to receive at least 31 of the 60 votes. Burovs has so far secured the 11 votes of the GKR group, four votes of the Group of Independent Councilmen and three votes from For Riga group. Harmony, which also has promised Burovs 17 votes, still had not concluded a coalition agreement on Sunday, thus making its position rather uncertain.

Zeps, meanwhile, has been trying to secure opposition votes but has so far only managed to persuade the National Alliance to support his candidacy. If the National Alliance votes for him, Zeps can count on 12 votes in the mayoral election.

Unity and the New Conservative Party, meanwhile, are not planning to support any of the existing candidates as they want a snap election to be called in Riga.

The office of Riga mayor has remained vacant since June 21 when Dainis Turlais (GKR) was unseated as Riga mayor in a no confidence vote.

The city council has until August 20 to elect a new mayor, otherwise the city council can be dissolved and a snap election called in Riga.