Rīga Mayor quits Development/For! party association

Riga Mayor Mārtiņš Staķis announced his withdrawal from the Development/For! party association in a Facebook post on March 24 evening. 

He said that he was infuriated by the fact that one of the parties in the association, For Latvia's Development, “hit the brakes for the development of the capital of Latvia”. He criticized the decision of the Minister for Environmental Protection and Regional Development, Artūrs Toms Plešs, to suspend the spatial plan of the Rīga territory. In his opinion, it is unjust and disproportionate.

Staķis said that his only chance to leave For Latvia's Development was to leave the Movement For! party. At the same time, Staķis remains in the position of Mayor in the For!/Progressives faction.

“I apologize to all the members I encouraged to support the establishment of the Development/For! alliance. I am unspeakably sorry to leave many of my colleagues and supporters, but to live on and quietly accept that the suspension of Riga's spatial plan was lawful and has nothing to do with the interests of any gambling business, would be a lie to oneself and the party members,” Staķis said in a statement.

Riga Vice Mayor, New Unity spokesman Vilnis Ķirsis told LETA that New Unity will continue to support Staķis as mayor. In his view, even if there were small political shifts in the coalition at the moment, it could not threaten the stability of the coalition. The coalition currently has 38 out of 60 votes. Consequently, minor changes could not lead to major shocks.

Meanwhile, the Progressives party, called on the Prime Minister to request the resignation of Minister Plešs in response to the decision on the suspension of the Rīga spatial plan.

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