Post-Election Briefs: Power Dynamics Shift Here and There
Looking beyond Tallinn, not everything stayed the same after the local elections last Sunday. And reshuffling wasn't confined to Tartu and Narva, either. There were, after all, another 213 elections.
In Kuressaare, the biggest town on Saaremaa island, the incumbent coalition was upset when IRL decided to switch out its traditional partner, sending the incumbent Reform Party mayor packing and bringing in the Social Democratic Party. The latter had collected the most votes as well, taking eight out of 21 seats on the city council, reported ETV.
"It seemed to us that in the long term, [partnering with the Social Democrats] would be more beneficial for us and the city. This concerns people's expectations. We considered the possibility of a wider coalition as well, but nevertheless decided to stick with the Social Dems as our sole partner," said IRL member Toomas Takkis, who is due to chair the city council as Social Democrat Hannes Hanso becomes mayor.
IRL caused more headache for the Reform Party in the northeastern town of Rakvere, taking over the mayor's seat, although Reform was given the chair of the 21-seat council.
In this town the post-election resolution was a three-way coalition, consisting of the two aforementioned as well as the Social Democratic Party.
IRL had picked up the most votes in Rakvere, 1,715, with 348 going to the mayor to be, Mihkel Juhkam. The Reform Party received 1,669 votes and the Social Dems 1,131 votes.
Meanwhile, MP Rainer Vakra, an ex-Center Party member running in the Social Democratic ranks, is attempting to shake up things in Tallinn, having pulled off one of the best results for individual candidates nationwide.
With 4,236 votes, he is the sixth most popular candidate in the election.
Vakra was one of eight MPs to ditch the Center Party in 2012, in protest over the expulsion of another MP who was punished for criticizing his own party in the media.
Vakra is seeking a return to his former position as elder of Nõmme, a district in Tallinn.
Since the Center Party dominated the Tallinn elections, it would be hard to come by. Yet he called on city leaders to take into account his strong result, pointing to how the current district elder, Erki Korp, who had replaced Vakra after he left the Center Party, picked up just 386 votes.
"I think it is necessary that the Tallinn government seriously consider its activities in Nõmme and [my result] shows that Nõmme voters understand that political tourists are not elected in this district," Vakra told uudised.err.ee.