Government plans administrator to take over running of Rēzekne City Council

The government coalition has agreed on a plan to take over administration of crisis-wracked Rēzekne City Council, reported LTV on February 26.

After the regular Monday coalition meeting, the Minister of Environmental Protection and Regional Development Inga Bērziņa (New Unity) informed the media about agreement to start work on a bill that would dismis Rēzekne City Council. Most likely the bill could be decided by the Saeima some time in March.

Bērziņa allowed that until the next municipal elections in 2025, an administrator could take over running of the council rather than staging fresh elections. However, such a move would also require amendments to the law.

The Minister of Environmental Protection and Regional Development previously did not rule out the dismissal of the Rēzekne City Council and in an interview on the "Pēcpusdiena" program of Latvian Radio, Bērziņa expressed her belief that the Rēzekne City Council should be dismissed. At the same time, she emphasized that it would be important to make decisions not emotionally, but legally and with justification.

The minister also revealed that she turned to the General Prosecutor's Office with a request to evaluate the inaction of the members of the Rēzekne council in not adopting a municipal budget. According to her, the responsibility of each deputy, especially the position deputies, should be assessed.

At the beginning of the day there was news that the minister invited the Rēzekne council to agree this year's budget of the municipality and to report it to the ministry by March 5.

About half a year ago, Rēzekne ran into serious financial difficulties, due to which the current mayor Aleksandrs Bartasevičs (Together for Latvijai) lost his position. The political crisis in the city was further aggravated by the council's inability to adopt the 2024 municipal budget. Adoption of a balanced budget was one of the conditions for the municipality to receive a state loan of 5 million euros, but the municipality did not even include the budget issue on the agenda of a crucial recent council meeting.

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