Tallinn Mayor Edgar Savisaar is expected to make a run for European Parliament after the politician gave his consent to take part in the internal elections that will decide the Center Party's official candidate list.
Over 20 people are looking to run for a spot on the Center Party's election list, ETV reported. The Center Party council will pick 12 MEP candidates, to be announced in early spring.
Savisaar also ran in 2009, pulling in more votes than any other candidate. As with this year's elections, the win did not mean that Savisaar himself would be filling an MEP post. His success guaranteed the party two of Estonia's six seats in the 766-member European Parliament.
The party's secretary general, Priit Toobal, said that MPs Jüri Ratas, Mailis Reps, Kadri Simson and Enn Eesmaa will also run.
"There are also other good city leaders, not just from Tallinn but from outside Estonia as well, who have been named candidates but have later withdrawn. But I think we can go into the internal elections with a list that is twice as long as there are places for Estonia in the European Parliament," he said.
Savisaar's ex-wife Vilja Savisaar-Toomast is a current MEP, although she is no longer affiliated with Center.
Sociologist and Social Dem Lauristin hints at a run
Asked by Postimees yesterday whether she might be a candidate for European Parliament, Marju Lauristin, a Tartu professor known for her role in the restoration of independence and a Charter 12 signer, suggested that she would not rebuff the Social Democrats in their expectations that she might be an EP candidate for them.
"Let's say I haven't said no," she said. "On one hand, it's a truly important period for Estonia, getting ready to be the president [of the Council of the European Union in 2018] and what will be our importance in European policy making, our ideas, our country's experience - all this is a very large challenge in this period."
"Second, the current internal climate in Estonia is one where the EP elections are a rehearsal for the next Estonian general elections. As change is really expected in Estonian politics and our party has promised change, it is extremely important to shape visions regarding Europe in the domestic European Parliament debate," she said.