Honor to Serve Rīga puts forth Dainis Turlais as candidate for Rīga mayor

The council faction of the Honor to Serve Rīga (GKR) party – which, with Harmony, makes up the ruling coalition in Rīga City Council – has put forth deputee Dainis Turlais forth as its candidate for Rīga mayor, reported LTV May 28.

The extended board of the party is to review Turlais' candidacy later on.

This takes place after suspended Rīga mayor Nils Ušakovs (Harmony) was elected to the European Parliament. Earlier, council official and current acting mayor Oļegs Burovs (GKR) was named as Ušakovs' most likely successor. 

If Harmony decides it wants to name its own candidate, relations could sour quickly between the two coalition parties, which hold a majority of 32 in the 60-seat council. 

The parties had earlier agreed that Ušakovs' successor would come from GKR and that the vice-mayors (now Rīga has two) would be of the Harmony party.

Army man-turned-politician Dainis Turlais was Interior Minister for two years in the 90s under PM Guntis Ulmanis and served as an MP for a couple of years in the 2000s. 

GKR councilor and former vice-mayor Andris Ameriks was likewise elected as a MEP. He resigned as vice-mayor in the wake of massive graft allegations late last year.

Ušakovs' and Ameriks' spots at the city council may be taken by Vita Jermoloviča (GKR) – who's herself involved in a graft scandal as the head of the Rīga Tourism Board – as well as Ivans Ivanovs, an official who sits on the council of the Rīga International Bus Terminal.

As reported, Ušakovs was suspended as mayor by the Environment Minister earlier this year and then turned to the court over the matter.

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