Latvia’s next leader? Riga mayor put forward as PM candidate

Riga Mayor Nils Usakovs
DELFI.lv

The leader of the left-wing Harmony Centre party and former journalist, Usakovs presides over the party that is better known for its support of ethnic Russians in Latvia.

Calls were made for Usakovs to step down late last year after a supermarket roof collapsed, leaving 54 dead. Hundreds of Usakovs supporters and opponents took to the streets to voice their concerns.

A vote of no confidence called for by Usakovs ended in his favour.

The Harmony party, who are running for the first time in the elections separately, also approved its list of candidates for the Saeima elections on Thursday.

The party’s frontrunners in the elections will be MPs Janis Urbanovics, Andrejs Elksnins, Ivars Zarins, Valerijs Agesins and former Latvia’s First Party/Latvia’s Way politician Krisjanis Peters.

Urbanovics will top the party’s ticket in Riga, and will be followed by MP Andrejs Klementjevs, former Riga Municipal Police Chief Janis Gedusevs, as well as MPs Boriss Cilevics and Sergejs Mirskis.

Zarins will be atop the party’s ticket in the Vidzeme election district, followed by MP Sergejs Dolgopolovs, former MP Karlis Leiskalns, as well as MPs Janis Adamsons and Aleksandrs Sakovskis.

In the Latgale election district, Elksnins will be first on the party’s ticket, followed by MPs Janis Tutins and Ivans Ribakovs.

In Zemgale, Peters will top the party’s ticket, followed by MP Vitalijs Orlovs and Freeport of Riga board member Ivars Jakovels. Agesins will head the party’s ticket in the Kurzeme election district.

The regional party Honour to Serve Riga will delegate 20 people on Harmony’s election tickets, many of them officials within Riga City Council structures.

This will be the first time that Harmony will run in the elections separately, and not as Harmony Centre. The next Saeima elections will be held in October 2014.

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