Ikšķile locals say no to territorial reform but less than half voice opinion

In a survey – blocked by the Environment Minister – most locals at Ikšķile, near Rīga, voted against the proposed territorial reform that would likely see Ikšķile merged with a larger municipality, reported Latvian Radio May 12.

But less than half of about 7,000 people living in Ikšķile participated in the non-binding survey.

Ikšķile municipal head Indulis Trapiņš (Unity) said he's pleased with the results and said that Environment Minister Juris Pūce's (Development/For!) announcements interfered with the survey. 

Even though the survey has no legal power, Trapiņš said he hopes it'll still be taken into account.

"I think that [about] half of the people showing up and expressing their opinion is a very considerable result. And it shows that the public cares. Even though the survey result has no direct influence, we will submit it to the Environment Ministry. We will write to the Saeima and the government," he said.

Latvian Radio was unable to reach the Environment Minister for the story. 

The administrative-territorial reform project envisages the creation of 35 local government regions centered on towns and cities rather than the more dispersed model currently in operation.

Under the current project, Ikšķile Municipality would be merged with the nearby Ogre Municipality. 

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