Olga Ivanova, head of the Lasnamäe chapter of the Center Party, said that she acted on Edgar Savisaar's personal request in nominating the former longtime party chairman for the top spot on the party's ticket in Lasnamäe in the October local elections.
The extended board of the Tallinn chapter of the Center Party, however, chose Mihhail Kõlvart, deputy chairman of the party, for the top slot of the party's list of candidates in the biggest and most ethnically Russian borough of Tallinn.
Ivanova told BNS on Wednesday that she met with Savisaar on Sunday, the day prior to the meeting of the party chapter's extended board meeting. Ivanova informed Savisaar that the agenda of the meeting of the extended board included the endorsement of the party's number one candidates for electoral districts.
"Savisaar asked me to nominate him as candidate for the top spot in Lasnamäe," Ivanova said.
Ivanova said she submitted the her nomination of Savisaar verbally and that no submission in writing is requited in a vote like this. "Of course it's sufficient, as otherwise the candidacy would not have been voted on," she explained. She added that of the participants of the meeting, only Vadim Belobrovtsev, city district elder of Tallinn's Kristiine district, asked whether the candidate should not be present in person.
"Mihhail Kõlvart did not submit a written agreement either," Ivanova said.
Ivanova also nominated MEP Yana Toom as candidate for the Lasnamäe top slot. Toom was present at the meeting, Ivanova told BNS.
Three candidates were put to a vote: Kõlvart, Toom and Savisaar. In the vote, Kõlvart received ten votes and Savisaar one. Toom did not receive a single vote. Ivanova had voted for Savisaar.
Ivanova ruled out the possibility that Savisaar might agree to run in Lasnamäe in any other than the top slot. "I can guess what the answer would be," she said when asked by BNS.
"Someone who has set a record and brought the party almost 40,000 votes in elections will hardly agree to run in Tallinn after a vote like this," Ivanova said. "Just like Yana Toom, who collected more than 25,000 votes in European Parliament elections and thereby set a record too — she will hardly agree to run in Tallinn as well."
The secretary general of the Center Party, Jaak Aab, told the evening news of ETV on Tuesday that Olga Ivanova alone spoke about the wish of Savisaar to run at the meeting of the extended board of the Tallinn chapter.
"Everyone else who has been in touch with him has said that he doesn't want to, has not made a decision, that the decision definitely is not final, and he doesn't have a lot of interest in this subject now," Aab said.
He said Savisaar has talked about the subject with the party's leader Jüri Ratas and other members of the governing board on several occasions. "Therefore no proposal came from Jüri Ratas for Savisaar to be the number one candidate in some district," Aab said.
Editor: Aili Vahtla