Latvia, Legislation

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Monday, 01.06.2020, 03:03

New mayor elected in Jekabpils, prompting resignation of vice-mayor

BC, Riga, 30.04.2019.Print version
Jekabpils vice mayor Aivars Kraps (Honor to Serve Our Latvia, GKML) was today elected the eastern Latvian city’s new mayor, prompting a resignation of former mayor Raivis Ragainis’ (Green Party of Latvia) deputy Liga Klavina (Green Party of Latvia), the local authority informed LETA.

Kraps was elected Jekabpils mayor by seven votes from local council members after they had deposed Ragainis who was also nominated for reelection but received only five votes. Before his election, Kraps described himself as a team player.

Right after the vote, vice mayor Klavina said she did not deem it possible to work in the new coalition, which in her words was intent on changing the city’s philosophy and development direction. Klavina said she would tender resignation after the May public holidays.

As reported, Ragainis was today deposed as mayor of the eastern Latvian town of Jekabpils with seven members of the local council voting for his removal. At the council meeting, the mayor was criticized for poor communication and ignoring councilors’ proposals.

Former Jekabpils mayor Leonids Salcevics (Jekabpils Regional Party) said that after eight councilors had called for a no-confidence vote in Ragainis at an extraordinary council meeting, instead of sitting down with the councilors at a negotiations table, the mayor tried to stay in power by offering some of them positions in municipal companies.

Ragainis, who had been serving as Jekabpils mayor for 22 months, dismissed the criticism and called the allegations lies, stressing that the ruling coalition in Jekabpils has been working in local residents’ and not councilors’ interests.

The eight members of the Jekabpils council demanded Ragainis’ resignation, criticizing him for inaction regarding the planned administrative reform and an inability to ensure proper communication. The councilors dissatisfied with Ragainis’ job performance include representatives of the Jekabpils Regional Party, the National Alliance, Latgale Party, KPV LV, Harmony and Honor to Serve Our Latvia (GKML).

Although Salcevics reportedly has no plans to run for the mayoral office again, Ragainis believes that Salcevics’ right-hand man Aivars Kraps (GKML), who is likely to be elected Jekabpils’ new mayor, would likely follow his old policies.

Meanwhile, the association of local entrepreneurs has expressed support for Ragainis and said that electing a person with dubious reputation as the city’s mayor would be unacceptable.

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