Ratas: Center Party Has Tilted to One Extreme ({{commentsTotal}})

Center Party board member and former Tallinn mayor Jüri Ratas, whom the daily Postimees speculated could join the rival Reform Party before the next parliamentary election, said he wants to belong to a party which deals with emigration, regional matters and a debate on the tax system.

“Currently I am a Center Party member, and if I feel that the Center Party is able to reach the whole society in Estonia, both Estonian-speakers and Russian-speakers, on those topics then that is the party I want to belong to. I have said this before that the Center Party has gravitated towards one extreme,” Ratas said on Wednesday.

He told Postimees that he is not the type of person to change parties so freely. “At the same time it would be short-sighted to completely rule out such a move. My future in the Center Party depends on the decision and development of the party.”

Postimees reported that Ratas could replace Keit Pentus-Rosimannus as the environmental minister after the March 1 parliamentary elections, with the current minister taking Urmas Paet's seat, who in turn will replace Andrus Ansip in the European Parliament.

Ratas was the Mayor of Tallinn between 2005 and 2007, before Edgar Savisaar took over. He has collected around 8,000 votes in the past three elections.