Elections, EU – Baltic States, Latvia

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Monday, 13.07.2020, 00:51

Environment Protection and Regional Development Ministry to initiate dissolution of Riga City Council

BC, Riga, 06.12.2019.Print version
The Environment Protection and Regional Development Ministry has decided to initiate dissolution of the Riga City Council because the local authority has repeatedly failed to fulfill one of its functions - to ensure waste management services, reported LETA/BNS.

Environment Protection and Regional Development Minister Juris Puce (For Development) today explained in a press conference that the ministry had repeatedly pointed at the violations in provision of waste management services in the Latvian capital.

"In eight months, for a second time emergency situation has been declared and the local government has not fulfilled its function. Operations of the Riga City Council not only are illegal, but also do not meet interests of the society," the minister said.

The minister has demanded explanations from the Riga City Council on how it plans to solve the situation, but there had been no proper response. "Detecting threat to democracy and the rule of law, I have to react and prevent such threat," the minister explained his decision to initiate dissolution of the Riga City Council.

He said that the ministry has drawn up a bill on dissolution of the Riga City Council which will be sent to the Cabinet of Ministers. The bill sets February 29, 2020, as the date for the snap elections of the new Riga City Council. 

In the meantime, temporary administration of the Riga City Council will be appointed.

The Riga City Council will be dissolved after the Cabinet of Ministers and the parliament support the bill.

The Riga City Council consists of 60 lawmakers elected from six political forces - Unity, For Latvia's Development, Harmony, Honor to Serve Riga, the New Conservative Party (JKP) and the National Alliance.

Since the previous elections, eight lawmakers left their parties and now form two separate blocs - four lawmakers expelled from Harmony have formed a Faction of Independent Lawmakers, two lawmakers expelled from JKP and one lawmaker who left For Development have formed For Riga bloc. Independent lawmaker Baiba Broka is also cooperating with For Riga.

As reported, Riga City Council and Getlini EKO landfill entered into a EUR 686.3 mln public-private partnership on management of household waste in Riga with CREB Riga, a company set up by two environmental service providers - Clean R and Eco Baltia Vide. At the beginning of June, Getlini EKO and CREB Riga established joint venture Rigas Vides Pakalpojumi, later renamed Tiriga, which from September 15 was to provide household waste management services in Riga for the next twenty years. 

On September 9, the Competition Council banned Tiriga from signing agreements with the residents of Riga and initiated infringement proceedings against the Riga City Council and Getlini EKO, suspected of possibly violating the prohibition of abuse of dominant position.

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