Rēzekne's councilors boycott meetings to achieve dissolution

On Thursday, November 16, the meeting of the Rēzekne City Council had been boycotted by members of the ruling coalition, so for the third time, the sitting could not take place due to a lack of quorum. Six out of 13 members were present, Latvian Radio and Latvian Television reported.

The boycotts come from the Together for Latvia party, which is led by Aleksandrs Bartaševičs, the now-dismissed Mayor of Rēzekne. They want to speed up the City Council's dismissal by not attending the hearings and consequently get a new election.

Unlike the previous two sittings, this time most Members have given reasons for not attending. Four deputies reportedly had a sick leave, two had other reasons, which were not specified. One Member has not provided the reasons for the absence.

Opposition representatives attended the meeting in full today.

“A new twist right now: sick leave. Have to look at the legislation. If I'm not mistaken, it can be [issued for] half a year. I hope there will be some symptom from the sidelines that will still make or allow colleagues to come and we will continue to work. Right now, it looks like there's no sign of that.

“Therefore, two options: colleagues, however, in respect of their voters, come and continue their work, or a second variant – then everything is in the hands of Riga decision-makers,” said Juris Guntis Vjakse, opposition deputy of the City Council.

“Those MPs should be asked if they want to work or want to create drama. What is their goal right now? If there was a clear answer that they didn't want to work, please give up the mandates and let the City Council work. Have to deal with their motivation. I don't understand what games they are playing,” said Jānis Zeltiņš, deputy of Rezekne City Council.

Part of Thursday's non-attending MPs have not been answering phone calls since last week, including Bartaševics. Another part indicates that answers can be found in the Together for Latvia party statement. It expresses a desire to speed up the City Council's dismissal. Minister for Environmental Protection and Regional Development Inga Bērziņa (New Unity) does not want to encourage this.

'We are not planning [a dismissal] because I believe this behavior is unacceptable. It's an abuse of power, deliberately doing it,” Bērziņa said.

The Minister believes she has found another option – to reduce the number of deputies required for the quorum. It will be viewed by the responsible Saeima Committee next week.

Rezekne's next Council meeting is scheduled to take place in two weeks.

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