President: Rīga mayor should resign

Seeing as the head of a municipality is responsible for its work, Rīga mayor Nils Ušakovs (Harmony) should resign, Latvia's president Raimonds Vējonis told LTV in an interview on December 18.

"We should slowly approach the standards of Western politics. And usually, in situations like these, if there's information over possible corrupt activities and possible negligence, they make a decision to resign," said Vējonis.

He expressed hope that the work by the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau (KNAB), which has lately occupied headlines across the country with the graft case in Rīgas satiksme with allegations of multi-million procurements being rigged by bribery, will come to the responsible parties being sentenced in court.

Pressure has been mounting on Ušakovs as perhaps the biggest corruption scandal yet has implicated officials in the Rīga City Council and the Rīgas satiksme municipal company. 

Commenting a bill over sacking the entire council, which is currently being scrutinized by the cabinet's legal experts, Latvia's PM Māris Kučinskis (Greens and Farmers Union) told LTV he thinks that Ušakovs should resign on his own accord

Meanwhile on December 19 Ušakovs told the press that, should the bill make it into the Saeima and it adopts it, he would appeal the decision with the Constitutional Court.

As reported, Rīga deputy mayor Andris Ameriks (Honor to Serve Rīga) stepped down on December 17 after news broke out that his house was searched in connection with an ongoing corruption probe into the municipal transport company Rīgas satiksme.

Officials of Rīgas satiksme and the Rīga City Council have been arrested in a case centered on claims of bribery and profiteering from procurement contracts worth hundreds of millions of euros. 

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