Tallinn Mayor Debate Centered on Corruption ({{commentsTotal}})

Source: Photo: ERR

Friday's debate between six candidates running for mayor of Tallinn focused on corruption and social benefits.

The six were Hardo Aasmäe (election coalition Free Tallinn Citizen), Andres Anvelt (Social Democrats), Mart Helme (Conservative People's Party), Eerik-Niiles Kross (IRL), Valdo Randpere (Reform Party) and current mayor Edgar Savisaar (Center Party).

“When people speak about corruption in Tallinn, they are covering up corruption elsewhere,” Savisaar said, adding that fewer Tallinn officials are under investigation or have been sentenced for corruption than state employees or police officials.

Kross said he has served as adviser for reforms in Iraq and Azerbaijan, and the Center Party's governing style reminds him of those nations. He added that other parties have not taken enough interest in the city, allowing the current city government to stay in power too long.

The Social Democrat representative said his party is not ruling out joining the Center Party in a coalition to rule Tallinn, but the city must disband its media empire, which has helped Savisaar keep his high rating in the city.

Pension voters

A monthly pension supplement the city currently pays (76 euros annually) should be doubled, Randpere said, adding that the Center Party has not fulfilled a similar promise.

Helme and Kross both said they would also increase the allowance, while Savisaar said they have decreased prices of prescription drugs instead.