The 2020 Riga City Council election was held from 26 to 29 August 2020 to elect the 60 members of the council. The election was initially scheduled for 25 April 2020, and then rescheduled three times. The council has been elected for almost five years instead of the standard four.
The coalition of the centrist Development/For! alliance and centre-left The Progressives (both – new entities, which did not participate in the previous local elections) obtained a plurality of votes and seats.
The election resulted in both parties of the ruling coalition (Social Democratic Party “Harmony” and Honoured to serve Riga) losing seats, and seeing their combined vote share decline by nearly a half. The Latvian Russian Union returned to the City Council for the first time since 2009, obtaining four seats, while the New Conservative Party saw their seat count drop by five. The Union of Greens and Farmers fell less than 1% short of the 5% threshold needed to enter the council.
The leader of the Latvian Russian Union list for the Riga elections evaluates the results:
– The most important outcome for us is the restoration of the Latvian Russian Union’s group in the Riga City Council. We have returned to this assembly after 10 years, in changed political circumstances and with another composition of the group.
The composition of the faction of the Latvian Russian Union is as follows: Miroslav Mitrofanov (Miroslavs Mitrofanovs), Yakov Pliner (Jakovs Pliners), Vladimir Buzayev (Vladimirs Buzajevs) and Alexander Kuzmin (Aleksandrs Kuzmins).
We are extremely grateful to our voters, activists, elections’ observers, journalists and electoral commission employees. For many reasons, this campaign was extremely complicated. But we have overcame all the difficulties!
In the conditions when 60% of Riga’s full-fledged ignored the voting, we can say that the voters of our party are really motivated and conscientious. On the other hand, we couldn’t convince the vast majority of politically disappointed people and failed to inspire them by the hope for change. A significant share of Russian-speaking Latvian citizens has not participated in the elections. It would not be entirely true to claim that the reason for this passivity is just the disappointment in the Latvian Russians’ leader Nil Ushakov, or the lack of TV advertising. We have made our own mistakes, too.
We have to carry out a fair analysis of the reasons and to work on our own failures. Every voter, every human in this country is worth respect and listening to them!
Most likely, we will act in the opposition in the City council. On many issues, we plan to cooperate with the ruling coalition. If we will notice signs of corruption, we shall move into uncompromising opposition to the ruling parties. In any case, it’s time to get to work!