Latvia: Riga mayor Martins Stakis steps down

The mayor of Latvia’s capital Riga, Martins Stakis, has resigned, LSM reports. He said that the move was due to disagreements within the ruling coalition regarding an investigation into alleged violations in the management practices and use of funds in the city’s transport department. A new mayor needs to be elected within two months, Baltic News Network reports.

Stakis said that his key management principle has been fair governance and zero tolerance for wasting money and for corruption. He insisted that the Riga municipality should not be divided into “controlled kingdoms of political factions.” Currently, there was one coalition on paper in the Riga city council, but decisions were being taken by a very different majority, Stakis said.

Stakis noted that the current majority of New Unity, National Alliance, Latvian Association of Regions (LRA), and Code for Riga, together with the opposition’s Harmony, Honour to Serve Riga (GKR), and For Latvia’s Development, had picked “a different path of development for the city.” Stakis was elected mayor with support from the Movement For and Progressives in 2020.