Riga mayor survives another no confidence vote

Source: Xinhua| 2019-02-12 03:57:36|Editor: yan
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RIGA, Feb. 11 (Xinhua) -- Riga Mayor Nils Usakovs on Monday survived another no confidence vote initiated by opposition members of the Latvian capital city's council, spokesperson for the local authority informed.

This was already the third no confidence motion against Usakovs tabled by the city council's center-right opposition.

The main reason for the latest attempt to unseat the leftist Riga mayor was Usakovs' refusal to assume personal responsibility for alleged corruption in Rigas Satiksme municipal transport company.

Opposition councilors also criticized Usakovs for a failure to provide enough places for kids in nursery schools and poor maintenance of Riga's streets.

However, representatives of Usakovs' left-wing Harmony party and its ally Honor to Serve Riga firmly stood by their city mayor, citing the overwhelming voter support Usakovs received in the last local elections.

Last Saturday, Harmony party held a large rally outside the Riga Town Hall to demonstrate their support for Usakovs after anti-graft operatives on Jan. 30 raided the mayor's office and home as part of an ongoing criminal investigation into alleged large-scale corruption and money laundering in Rigas Satiksme.

Andris Ameriks resigned as Riga vice mayor after the corruption scandal in Rigas Satiksme broke out. Several officials, including Environmental Protection and Regional Development Minister Juris Puce, also called for Usakovs' resignation, but the Riga mayor has been consistently denying his involvement in any corruptive activities and said he would not step down.