RIGA 's Riga Deputy Mayor Juris Lujans decided to give up his mandate, citing indignation over the recent gay parade that took place in Riga July 23.
"I am putting down my mandate after this emergency meeting [of the Riga city council]," said Lujans, who is leader of Latvia's First Party, one of the four ruling coalition parties.
Lujans denies that the decision had anything to do with general elections in the fall of 2002, as the media has speculated. He stressed that he made the decision based solely on his evaluation of New Era's decision to allow the gay march to take place.
"We are speaking about the scale of values here. They have no moral standards," he said, speaking of the right-wing New Era.