Latvia, Legislation, Markets and Companies

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Monday, 22.07.2019, 19:33

Ministry gives Usakovs one week to explain possible violations on the Riga City Council's part

BC, Riga, 21.03.2019.Print version
The Environmental Protection and Regional Development Ministry has established a number of possible violations that Riga Mayor Nils Usakovs (Harmony) will have to explain in one week, the ministry informed LETA.

The ministry has ascertained the violations during a legal probe into the Riga City Council's operations, and Environmental protection and Regional Development Minister Juris Puce (For Development/For) has demanded that Usakovs explain these violations in writing.

According to the ministry, its representatives analyzed minutes from meetings of the Riga City Council, the municipality's financial and administrative affairs committee and transport and traffic committee going back to the spring of 2017, as well as Riga City Council's decisions about the Riga municipal public transport company, and Rigas Satiksme documents.

The ministry has determined that Usakovs did not ensure an increase in Rigas Satiksme's share capital according to what the Riga City Council had decided. He did not ensure that the company's articles of association were amended according to the Riga City Council's decisions, and did not look into contracts of Rigas Satiksme whose amounts exceeded a critical level and could affect the company's operations.

The ministry has also established that Usakovs may have violated the law's provisions that deal with the organization of Rigas Satiksme's shareholders meetings and appointment of auditors for the company.

In addition, Usakovs did not submit to the Environmental Protection and Regional Development Ministry an evaluation of certain procurement tenders organized by Rigas Satiksme and several contracts it signed.

The ministry has also determined that the number of items on the agenda of some of the extraordinary meetings of the Riga City Council was unusually high, up to 140, and that such meetings were called late in the evening or even at night, therefore council members did not have enough time to acquaint themselves with all matters to be reviewed, and not all council members could attend such meetings.

Furthermore, the Riga City Council has been violating regulations on the registration of families with multiple children, and it has not been adhering to the requirements of the Waste Management Law.

Before Puce can take any other decisions regarding the Riga City Council, he has to request a written explanation from the mayor, and only after receiving Usakovs' explanation will the minister be able to consider his further actions, explained the Environmental Protection and Regional Development Ministry.

Commenting on Puce's allegations, Usakovs told LETA that any decisions taken by Puce would be contested in court as he had no doubts that Puce was looking for pretexts to dismiss him as the mayor of Riga.

Usakovs pointed out that For Development/For representatives on the Riga City Council were the only ones who opposed Usakovs' initiative to oust all gaming businesses from the city. Usakovs believes that Puce's party lobbies for gaming venues and tries its best to torpedo the Riga City Council's work.

Usakovs said he had no doubt that Puce would dismiss him as the Riga mayor, but all Puce's decisions would be contested in court. Puce will be unable to prove that his decisions are not politically motivated, as a result he will have to take responsibility for making illegitimate decisions, said Usakovs.

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