All members of the current Estonian government will be running in this October's local elections but for Prime Minister and Center Party chairman Jüri Ratas and Pro Patria and Res Publica Union (IRL) Minister of Defence Jüri Luik.
Of other IRL ministers, Minister of Social Protection Kaia Iva will be running in Järva County, Minister of Finance Toomas Tõniste in Viimsi, and Minister of Justice Urmas Reinsalu and Minister of the Environment Siim Valmar Kiisler in Tallinn.
IRL is taking the electoral battle very seriously, IRL Secretary General Priit Sibul said about the ministers' candidacies.
Social Democratic Party (SDE) chairman and Minister of Health and Labour Jevgeni Ossinovski has also confirmed that he will be running in the local elections in Tallinn, as will the party's remaining ministers: Minister of the Interior Andres Anvelt, Minister of Entrepreneurship and Information Technology Urve Palo, Minister of Foreign Affairs Sven Mikser, and Minister of Culture Indrek Saar.
"Yes, the decision is made — I am running in Tallinn, and we consider it crucial that an upheaval occur in the governing of Tallinn, so we will go into the elections with the maximum of forces we have to offer," Ossinovski said in an interview with daily Eesti Päevaleht (link in Estonian) two weeks ago. "This means that Indrek Saar, Sven Mikser, Andres Anvelt, [President of the Riigikogu] Eiki Nestor and many others will be running as well in order to support our team."
The Center Party's ministers' intention to run in the Oct. 15 local election was clear in May already.
Minister of Education and Research Mailis Reps and Minister of Public Administration Mihhail Korb have both already been given the number one spots in the capital city's Nõmme and Central Tallinn electoral districts, respectively. Minister of Rural Affairs Tarmo Tamm confirmed that he would be running in the local elections in his hometown of Põlva in Southeastern Estonia.
Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Kadri Simson will be running in Pärnu, where she will also be running for mayor; she has already promised to give up her ministerial position should she be elected mayor.
Prime Minister Jüri Ratas, however, will not be running in the local elections this fall. "There has been and remains in place good practice that the prime minister does not participate in local elections," noted a Center Party spokesperson.
Editor: Aili Vahtla