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Riga Council members expelled from JKP and Putnins to establish new political group
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    News

    Riga Council members expelled from JKP and Putnins to establish new political group

    RIGA, June 25 (LETA) - Druvis Kleins and Imants Keiss, the two Riga City Council members who were expelled from the New Conservative Party (JKP) last week, as well as independent councilman Oskars Putnins, have decided to establish their own group on the city council, the politicians informed LETA.

    As a result, the total number of groups on the city council will grow to eight. According to the municipal regulations, it takes at least three members to form a group on the Riga City Council.

    Putnins was elected to the city council on For Development of Latvia ticket, but quit the group soon after the elections and has been supporting the ruling coalition ever since.

    However, Putnins’ vote proved decisive in last week’s vote in which Dainis Turlais (Honor to Serve Riga, GKR) was dismissed as Riga mayor. Putnins voted for the mayor’s removal.

    Putnins confirmed to LETA that he would form a new political group with Kleins and Keiss and that they want a new right-wing coalition to bet formed in Riga. “We want to reach an agreement with all opposition parties on one candidate for mayor. We will definitely support their candidate. We do not want anyone to expect miracles. What want the opposition to nominate a mayor and work to begin on tackling Riga’s problems,” Putnins said.

    The three council members plan to submit the application on the establishment of their group this week. The name of the new political group has yet to be announced.

    As reported, last week two members of the Riga City Council - Imants Keiss and Druvis Kleins - were expelled from the New Conservative Party after a vote to depose Riga mayor Dainis Turlais.

    Keiss was kicked out of the party because he abstained from voting while the rest of the JKP group voted for sacking the mayor.

    Keiss told LETA he did not want Turlais to be deposed as he had been given too little time to work as mayor. “Besides, I am against a snap election,” said Keiss.

    Meanwhile, Kleins, who voted in line with the party’s stance, was expelled from JKP because he disagreed on the necessity to call a snap election.

    Turlais was removed from office as 31 members of the city council voted against him and 29 supported him in the ballot. The councilors voting against Turlais included the entire opposition, independent councilor Oskars Putnins and four politicians that were recently expelled from Harmony party.

    If the Riga City Council does not elect a new mayor in two months, Saeima will be able to dissolve the city council and call a snap election in Riga.

    Meanwhile, 28 coalition councilors and opposition councilman Imants Keiss (New Conservative Party, JKP) voted in support of Turlais.

    Turlais was elected Riga mayor on May 30, shortly after the city’s ruling coalition split up. The opposition initiated a no confidence vote against Turlais to test his ability to secure majority support on the city council.

    As reported, the ruling coalition of Harmony and GKR split up after Turlais was elected the capital city’s new mayor. Four Harmony members – vice mayor Vadims Baranniks, Valerijs Petrovs, Aleksejs Roslikovs and Vitalijs Dubovs – were expelled from the group for what has been described as “gross violations”.

    The four lawmakers expelled from Harmony party have formed an independent faction and said that they are ready to cooperate with all Riga City Council lawmakers.

    The city council’s opposition, meanwhile, has ruled out cooperation with the coalition of Harmony and GKR.

    • Published: 25.06.2019 14:31
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