Minister voices no-confidence in boss and most of board at Latvian Railways

On May 7, Latvian Transport Minister Tālis Linkaits (New Conservative Party) has voiced no-confidence in a number of executives at the state-owned Latvian Railways transport company.

Company head Edvīns Bērziņš, as well as board members Aivars Strakša and Ainis Stūrmanis have been put up for the sack, with board member Ēriks Šmuksts remaining in place.

Bērziņš and Stūrmanis have been at the board since 2016 while Strakša and Šmuksts – since 2017.

At a press conference, Linkaits said the no-confidence motion was started for a number of reasons including the competition watchdog's case over potential violations over giving preference to LDZ Cargo; millions of euros possibly misspent on marketing; as well as wasting funds. The Transport Ministry likewise suspects "potential corruption schemes" and has sent info over this to the anti-graft office.

It is expected the Latvian Railways council will remove the executives in question next week. The Transport Ministry, which wants to overhaul the current business model of Latvian Railways, says an open competition for the vacant posts is to be held, recruiting professionals from around the globe. 

Latvian Railways is a passenger rail company. It employs about ten thousand people serving close to 2,000 km of rail lines.

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