Pre-election campaign materials on the loose in Riga

Take note – story published 3 years ago

Ahead of the Riga City Council's emergency elections, various political forces and candidates are increasingly active - but the pre-election campaign materials do not always end up where intended, Latvian Radio said August 11.

Road signs, bridge railings, public transport schedules and other infrastructure owned by the local government or state have been hidden under pre-election campaign labels. The labels in question, found in Āgenskalns, Torņakalns and Iļģuciems, are the materials of the Development/For!/Progressives list of Baiba Bļodniece's pre-election campaign. Called, Bļodniece said – she had not glued those. Last week there had been meetings with the population and the materials had been distributed.

“You see, first of all, people need some kind of agitation and informative materials. Unfortunately, neither the political party nor I can completely control where each of these labels goes – whether it is really only for private-owned property or somewhere in public places,” said Bļodniece.

The Transport Department of Riga City Council has also received information regarding labels being stuck on road signs. The department's spokeswoman, Ilze Dimante, explained that removing labels not only costs people money, but labels on road signs can also cause hazard.

“We received information last week that several road signs in Old Riga were taped with pre-election campaign labels. It must be said that it is dangerous because it can threaten traffic safety. This is unacceptable. It is not allowed,” said Dimante, adding that citizens are invited to call the department at 80003600 if they see that road signs or traffic lights are sealed over.

Riga Traffic representative Viktors Zaķis also added that sticker and label removal costs local government money.

15 political forces, who have submitted their lists of candidates, have applied for the Riga City Council's emergency elections.

In February this year, the Latvian Saeima voted to dismiss the Riga City Council. The extraordinary elections were originally planned for April but following the state of emergency the date was changed several times until it was set to August 29.

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