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Court accepts Lembergs' decree claiming that Sprudzs' decree be overturned

Aivars Lembergs. Photo: Evija Trifanova/LETA.
 VENTSPILS, Nov 26 - The Administrative District Court has accepted Ventspils Mayor Aivars Lembergs' petition asking that Environmental Protection and Regional Development Minister Edmunds Sprudzs' (Reform Party) decree that relieves Lembergs of his duties as Ventspils mayor, and an administrative case has been opened, as the court's representative Jana Petrenko informed LETA.

The Environmental Protection and Regional Development Ministry has been given one month to provide its explanations, after which the date of the hearing will be set.

As reported, Lembergs filed his appeal on November 16, claiming that Sprudzs' decree was unfounded and that Sprudzs did not have the authority to suspend him.

Sprudzs' decree was published in the government's official newspaper "Latvijas Vestnesis" on October 23. It states that, pursuant to Section 93 of the Law on Local Governments, Lembergs has been relieved from his duties as the mayor of Ventspils for a number of violations of laws and regulations.

Lembergs, however, insists that Sprudzs does not have the authority to suspend him. Lembergs emphasizes that relieving someone from performing his or her duties of office and suspending someone from office are two completely different notions.

Lembergs claims that, under the laws and regulations of the Republic of Latvia, the minister does not have the right to suspend any local government's head from his or her office.

According to the decree, the minister has the right to relieve a local government head from performing his or her duties of office if the minister suspects that the given local government head may be in a conflict of interest.

The decree emphasizes that Lembergs has committed multiple serious violations over a long period of time. Therefore, if he continues to work as the mayor of Ventspils, this will pose threat to democracy, rule of law, transparency and legitimacy of public administration, explains the ministry.

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