Government gives green light to Rēzekne city council's dismissal

On Tuesday, May 7, the government approved the draft law drawn up by the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development (VARAM) regarding the dismissal of Rēzekne City Council.

According to VARAM, Rēzekne City Council has demonstrated systematic incompetence and has taken deliberately illegal actions in relation to issues related to the development, adoption, and implementation of the 2023 budget of the local government, as well as the drawing up and adoption of this year's budget, thus violating the law.

VARAM believes that the current financial problems in the city threaten the fulfillment of the autonomous functions of Rēzekne municipality and the operation of the municipal administration.

VARAM indicated that the municipal council, as a democratically elected institution, can be dismissed only if it repeatedly tolerates significant violations of legal norms, and in the case of Rēzekne, such violations can be seen.

"Such actions of the city or municipality council shall be regarded as unlawful, deprecating the legal order existing in the country and inconsistent with the interests of the local government and the residents of the relevant administrative territory," said VARAM.

"Moreover, such action of the municipal council affects the State and threatens the interests of residents of Rezekne, as the budget of the local government is closely related to the fulfillment of the autonomous functions of the local government, such as the provision of various services provided by the local government."

The Ministry of Finance informed the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau, the Prosecutor General's Office, and the State Audit Office about the financial situation of Rēzekne City Council in February this year. Also, in relation to the inaction of the deputies of the city or municipality council and the possible signs of violations of external laws and regulations about the squandering of local government property, in February, VARAM approached the Prosecutor General's Office and the State Police.

In view of the above, VARAM the dismissal of the City Council and the appointment of a temporary administration as the only proportionate means of improving the financial situation of the local government.

The final decision to dismiss Rēzekne City Council will have to be taken by the Saeima. VARAM Minister Inga Bērziņa (New Unity) has invited the Saeima to see both bills already at the meeting on May 9 this week.

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