Minister Pūce calls for Rīga City Council dissolution

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Environmental Protection and Regional Development (VARAM) Minister Juris Pūce (Development/For!) called for the dissolution of the Rīga City Council in a press conference on December 6, however the final decision is in the hands of Saiema members.

Pūce explained that the Ministry has carefully analyzed Rīga City Council operations in organizing municipal waste management. VARAM found that there were several systematic violations for which the council chair was asked to present explanations for analysis.

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The Ministry found that the City Council did nothing to find appropriate waste managers during the three-month state of emergency. The final letter from the City Council explained why the waste management regulations don't need to be amended, but the Ministry disagrees.

After evaluating the violations, VARAM found that there is a basis for calling for dissolution. They found that the actions were not only illegal, but also don't promote confidence in the institution, according to Pūce. The draft law on Rīga City Council dissolution will be sent out for coordination with several ministries.

Pūca said he isn't happy about the decision, but that it was a last resort after other methods failed. A temporary administration is planned to operate for two and a half months, and local elections would be held on February 29.

As previously reported, despite the formation of a new coalition in Rīga City council, Riga Mayor Olegs Burovs (Honor to Serve Riga) survived a vote of no confidence November 30 and will continue in his position.

Also, Environment Protection and Regional Development Minister Juris Pūce (For Development) called on the government to declare a state of emergency in the Latvian capital due to the current crisis in the sector of waste collection and management, LETA learned from the ministry.

Evija Pinke, head of the Housing and Environment Department of the Riga City Council, confirmed to LETA that the tender was announced in accordance with all applicable and valid regulations. The Riga City Council's previous rules stipulating that Riga is to be divided into four areas for waste management purposes have been turned down by the Environmental Protection and Regional Development Ministry.

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