Rīga Mayor: pride flag above city council was a one-person decision

Take note – story published 1 year ago

Riga Mayor Mārtiņš Staķis told Latvian Radio June 6 that the decision on hanging the pride flag at the City Council building was taken by himself alone, to express solidarity with the LGBT+ community. 

The coalition partners from the National Alliance and the Latvian Regional Alliance (NA/LRA) expressed their displeasure  that Staķis had acted “hidden and in secret” and requested an explanation. The mayor pointed out that it was very important for Latvia and Riga to be on the right side.

“As mayor of Rīga, I believe that Rīga has to be on the right side. On the side that shows that it is safe and inclusive here in Rīga,” stated Staķis.

Edvards Ratnieks (NA/LRA) said: “The mayor has acknowledged this un-collegial conduct. Of course, in a faction where all our Members are, we will also talk about this issue and look at how we work further.”

The mayor said: “I have never hidden from this responsibility, but we also agreed that this is not the case where we could not continue to work together.”

The opposition Member Dainis Turlais said that Mārtiņš Staķis had acted as the owner of a private house: “In my opinion, such an impulsive one-person decision does not exactly correspond to his status – neither the status of the mayor nor the status of the capital building.”

However, the political scientist Ilga Kreituse stressed that in this case, whatever flag it was, Riga Mayor's actions were illegal:

"I think there is no legal basis and a desire to stand out, to pay more attention to something than the collective, which is the municipality of Riga, is not understandable. The only explanation is that Mr. Staķis is unaffiliated and if he thinks he can act alone, then there is no real understanding of the municipality as a collective action body. "

The political scientist also concedes that this situation could also be the basis for some change in the City Council.

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