Savisaar's retirement would lead to radical Russian party, says Finnish journalist ({{commentsTotal}})

Narva (left) and Ivangorod Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

Edgar Savisaar's resignation as the Center Party's chairman would lead to the creation of a language based party with an aim of protecting the interests of ethnic Russians in Estonia, says Yle correspondent in Estonia, Risto Vuorinen.

“Whoever is elected as the new leader of the Center Party, a destructive arena for power battles will open up. At least three Estonian parties would launch an arms race to coax current leaders to their party ranks. The general opinion of Estonian political analysts is that the Center Party will split into different parts, of which the Russian group will be the largest,” Vuorinen wrote in an opinion piece for Yle.

The new Russian party will take over Savisaar's role as a gate for the wishes of the Russian-speaking demographic, but it will be more radical and vocal, he said.

Vuorinen said this will lead to more friction between ethnic groups in Estonia, and if Estonian political leaders do not listen to the new Russian party, powers across the Narva river - in Kremlin - will, he added.

Tallinn's Mayor and Center Party leader Edgar Savisaar was taken to the Tartu University Clinic a week and a half ago when he fell critically ill. It was disclosed last Monday that Savisaar was suffering from an acute infection, caused by a streptococcus bacteria. This resulted in a toxic syndrome and blood poisoning. On the same day, the doctors revealed that due to an aggressive infection, and to save his life, they had to amputate one of Savisaar's legs above the knee during the operation. Savisaar is still hospitalized in an intensive care unit, but according to reports, his health has improved slightly.

Aadu Must, a long-serving Center Party politician, says the party is not split among ethnic lines and its members, such as Yana Toom, have a niche in politics.

He did not want to speculate on the topic of a new leader for the party, saying that the current board works well as a team.

Editor: J.M. Laats

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