Mārtiņš Staķis becomes Mayor of Rīga

In the first meeting of the new Rīga City Council October 2, Mārtiņš Staķis (Development/For!) was formally elected Mayor of Rīga, Latvian Television reported Friday.

He was chosen for the position by four coalition-forming parties: Development/For!/Progressives, National Alliance, New Unity, and New Conservative Party.

The coalition of four political forces has 39 out of a total of 60 votes in the Rīga City Council and broadly matches the ruling government coalition, with the exception of the absent KPV LV party which failed to win any seats in the municipal elections. A total of 57 deputies attended the meeting. 46 voted for Staķis as mayor, while 11 deputies voted against.

“It is time to restart Rīga,” Staķis said after the vote, expressing his readiness to start work. “In the run-up to the election, I called on all Rīga residents to go to the ballot boxes and vote. Even if you wanted to vote for someone else. I can promise now that I will be the mayor of all the Rīga residents. I will not have my own and other people, we all live in our city, we are patriots of Riga, and we all want the city to be rich, friendly and prepared to help those who need it.”

Staķis noted that four ideologically different political forces will form the coalition, but all agree “smart and decisive changes” are needed in Rīga. 

“This means Rīga where corruption is no longer possible, and works are done properly. A city that dynamically develops and offers modern solutions in all areas, from investment attraction to road infrastructure planning to reduction of kindergarten queues. We are elected because we are expected to do practical work for the benefit of tomorrow,” Staķis said.

Mārtiņš Staķis, 41, graduated from Tukums Rainis Gymnasium and obtained a bachelor's degree at the Faculty of Economics and Management of the University of Latvia with a specialization in municipal organization. He has also studied in Finland at the Helsinki School of Economics. Staķis started his working career as the marketing director of the "Narvesen" chain of stores. Since 2010 he has been a private entrepreneur, Latvian distributor of the 'Illy' coffee brand and owner of "Innocent Cafe". He gained public recognition by presenting the LTV1 program "Roots in the Sky", and is a member of the National Guard.

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