Harmony party wants Daugavpils mayor out

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If the mayor of Daugavpils, the country's second-largest city, Andrejs Elksniņš does not leave the Harmony party himself then the party will decide on his exclusion, Harmony's leader Jānis Urbanovičs told Latvian Radio on November 9. Elksniņš said he was not thinking about leaving Harmony.

The party is thus responding to Elksniņš' publicly expressed attitude toward the party as well as his view on Crimea and the war launched by Russia in Ukraine stemming from an interview he gave to the Delfi news portal.

Urbanovics told Latvian Radio that Elksnis had expressed unwanted criticism of the party for not getting into the Saeima, as well as, according to Urbanovičs, it is not acceptable to Harmony to justify Russian aggression. If Elksniņš does not leave himself, Harmony will decide on his exclusion, Urbanovičs said.

Elksniņš told LETA that he didn't think about leaving Harmony.

“Harmony needs to change, and new, powerful and talented leaders must come to its leadership, Elksninš said. [..] “The results of the elections have shown that citizens have to be offered an agenda that suits their interests, and then Harmony will have a future.” 

As reported earlier by LSM, Elksniņš' response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine has been questioned more than once. In July he was criticised for hobnobbing with Belarusian officials, while more recently he was seen to have dragged his feet over demolishing a Soviet-era memorial and even encouraged locals to lay flowers at it during its final days. On Tuesday, he was sent an official letter by the Foreign Minister stating that some of Elksniņs' statements "run contrary to the foreign policy positions of Latvia".

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