Narva, Estonia's third largest city, has a new mayor in Tarmo Tammiste, who held the post for 11 years from 2002. Previous mayor Eduard East was ousted a few weeks ago.
Despite the city council being dominated by the Center Party, with 20 seats out of 31, East was voted out at the end of November after a group broke away from the Center Party faction in the council.
Aleksei Voronov, a member of the new faction named “United Narva”, said they wanted to break away to make decision-making more democratic, open and participatory. The new group wanted their own man to lead Narva.
Tammiste, 53, was the head of the city's council and continues to be a Center Party member. Tammiste received 17 votes with 12 against.
“Decisions need to be taken as no one will wait and offer funding forever,” Tammiste said, promising to tackle the school network reform in Narva.
The Social Democrats held talks with the remaining Center Party faction but failed to agree on a candidate for mayor.
A representative for the Center Party said the new faction members are still Center Party members and the party remains in power in Narva.
At the 2013 local elections, the Center Party won 20 seats and the Social Democrats 11 seats. The Social Democrat faction now only has 3 members while the Center Party has to do with a 5-strong faction in the city council. United Narva has 16 members and the faction “Kindlus” (translated either as fortress, like the Narva castle, or strength) 6 seats. One councilman, Vadim Orlov, ran as a Center Party candidate, but is now a Reform Party member. The Reform Party did not contest local elections in Narva at all.
Editor: J.M. Laats