Tallinn opposition files inquiry after city district elder travels to Moscow

Tallinn's Lasnamäe City District Elder Maria Jufereva (Center). (Eero Vabamägi/Postimees/Scanpix)
10/28/2016 3:45 PM
Source: BNS
Category: News

The opposition Reform Party in the Tallinn City Council has submitted an inquiry concerning the conduct of Lasnamäe City District Elder Maria Jufereva (Center), who according to media reports accompanied suspended mayor Edgar Savisaar (Center) on a trip to Moscow earlier this week.

"It is absolutely incomprehensible what the city district elder did in Moscow then — did she have a day off or did she have to be in Laulasmaa on a work trip?" spokespeople quoted Ants Leemets, chairman of the Reform Party group, as saying on Friday. "One can only go on a work trip with the permission of one's superior. This means that the city government should have known about Jufereva's whereabouts."

In the inquiry, Leemets accuses the city district elder, the city government and the press services all of concealing the truth.

"The reputation of the city is being undermind," Leemets continued. "One is going to Moscow in secret for business we know nothing about. Arguably, no one knows what is being done, where or by whom. A capital city cannot be run in a manner like this."

The city of Tallinn needs a mayor, said the Reform leader. "Edgar Savisaar has been excluded from the Office of the Mayor and leading city officials do not have to accompany him on trips to Moscow — and a mayor excluded from office does not have to go on interacting with the city government," he continued. "He is using city officials loyal to him to get information and give orders. These actions must stop."

Savisaar, whom the courts have excluded from the Office of the Mayor of Tallinn for the duration of a graft probe, made a brief trip to Moscow on Wednesday. According to online news sources, he left by train late on Tuesday afternoon and returned on board the train that arrived in Tallinn shortly before 2 p.m. on Thursday. He was reported to have been accompanied on the trip by Jufereva, who had also accompanied Savisaar on the latter's pevious trip to the Russian capital in March.

On Tuesday, Savisaar had contacted the administrative service of the city chancellery to inform them of his wish to visit the mayor's workspace, spokespeople for the city government told BNS. In the course of the few hours he spent on the premises, Savisaar met with officials and members of the city government and wished to converse with them on both private matters and city government work-related subjects alike. Savisaar also expressed his interest in visiting the office of the mayor again in the future.

Deputy Mayor Kalle Klandorf (Center), had expressed concern that Savisaar's actions may have been in conflict with the law, pointing out that the decision of a court of law was currently in force forbidding Savisaar from performing the duties of mayor and therefore his visiting the workspace of the mayor and communicating with officials may bring legal consequences for Savisaar.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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