Rēzekne surveys residents about monument demolition

Daugavpils is currently the only local government that has not submitted a plan for dismantling objects glorifying occupation. Rēzekne, where the power is in the hands of the same party, Harmony, has submitted a plan for dismantling but is currently looking for ways to avoid it by asking public opinion in a survey, Latvian Radio reported on August 31.

Since Monday, residents have been invited to express their views on whether they support the dismantling of the city's Soviet monument, which is known as the Alyosha, offering three options for answers – support, do not support, or think that the monument should be moved to the cemetery (as objects on burial sites are not included in the law for dismantling). Rēzekne City Council President Aleksandrs Bartaševičs said there is a need to compromise.

“Informally, we know the point of view of the Rēzekne people, but we wanted to formally obtain the views of the population, because this is important. I'm in contact with people. We live in one city [..] They don't support demolition, most of the townspeople,” Bartaševičs said.

The survey results show something else. By Wednesday morning, 56%  had indicated they support the dismantling of the monument in the Latvian-language survey. Close to 40% do not support it. Also in the Russian-language survey, 53% support it while 42% do not. However, the mayor said that the votes should be verified.

The responsible Ministry for Environmental Protection and Regional Development (VARAM) said that the law must be enforced in any case.  Therefore, the opinion of the population, even if the local government has wanted to clarify it, does not have legal consequences for the local government or other institutions in the decision-making process.

The municipality of Rēzekne has confirmed to the Ministry that the statutory deadlines for the dismantling of monuments will be met, namely by November 15 at the latest.

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