Former coalition partners argue over who should get mayor’s seat in Riga

Former Riga City Council partners continue negotiations on continuing the city council’s operations. Parties have opposing views on which political party should get the honour of proposing mayoral candidates.
On Thursday, the 20th of July, three political parties – New Unity (JV), National Alliance/Latvian Association of Regions (NA/LRA) and Kods Rīgai (KR) – met with Progressive Party’s (PP) faction and requested to preserve their spheres of influence in Riga City Council.

JV, NA/LRA and KR believe their bloc should get the right to propose the next candidate for the post of Mayor of Riga. PP, on the other hand, was offered to propose a candidate for the vice-mayor’s post.

PP as a separate faction has the biggest number of deputies in the city council, and it was this faction’s representative Mārtiņš Staķis who was mayor until just recently.
Representatives of the three factions believe the responsibility for the city’s management and mayor’s seat should go to the political parties that collectively have the biggest number of deputies. Because these three factions have a total of 20 deputy seats, they believe they should get the mayor’s seat.

This means PP is invited to select a candidate for the vice-mayor’s seat.

PP representative Justīne Panteļejeva said her party heard this offer and will consider it. However, the party does not support it as of yet. This means PP may yet propose a candidate for the post of mayor and a candidate for the vice-mayor’s post.
According to her, PP has yet to discuss any potential mayoral candidates.
Representatives of three parties stress that there are no ongoing discussions about any specific candidates. They are confident the distribution of spheres of influence among parties should stay the same, because each political party has plans and this way it would not be necessary to take time to reorganise the city council’s work.
Because there is less than two years left in the term of the existing Riga City Council, three factions believe politicians have to find an option to prove themselves in the areas they were entrusted with in Riga City Council and the “coalition of change”.
Politicians of the three coalition parties believe negotiations should be continued with all sides participating. The next meeting could take place on Tuesday, the 25th of July.

In the next two weeks PP hopes to reach an agreement with its partners on various tasks. If it is done, on the 23rd of August the city council may vote in the new mayor.

The ruling coalition in Riga City Council split after a conflict surfaced over the evaluation of work done by the Transport Department.
Also read: New details surface about Riga City Council’s spending during Mārtiņš Staķis’ term