A motion of no confidence against Tallinn mayor Edgar Savisaar fell through for the third time this year in the City Council.
The opposition tried to unseat the mayor for a scandal involving the students of Tallinn Linnamäe Russia Lyceum taking official class photographs in the Estonian History Museum against a background featuring Soviet symbols.
Today's meeting was scheduled for 08:00 in the morning instead of the usual 16:00. The meeting was only attended by two members of the Center Party, Jüri Ennet and Toomas Vitsut. Of those present, 19 gave a vote of no confidence, one a vote of confidence and one remained impartial. The City Council is made up of 79 members.
This was the fifth no-confidence motion against Savisaar in this year alone, and the third time the Council came to cast a vote.
The first no-confidence vote took place on March 25 and was supported by 26 Council members. Today's scenario was a re-enactment of the second vote on July 17, when only 25 council members turned up to the meeting, 23 of whom gave a vote of no confidence. The other two motions did not abide to the regulations and were rejected by the chair.
The opposition reproached Savisaar for hindering the transition of Russian schools to teaching classes in Estonian and failing to explain the funding he allegedly received from Russia.
"There is a systematic in Tallinn to comply with the law and ignore the education policy. What went down in Tallinn Linnamäe Russian Lyceum is not a silly misunderstanding but characteristic of the City Council's attitude towards the cabinet's education policy.
"Photographing students next to Soviet symbols, Savisaar's tacit approval of this practice, and the fact that deputy mayor Kõlvart thinks this is normal, simply illustrate the sad reality of things," Martin Kukk of the Reform Party faction told Delfi.