Former party member: Center Party is led by he, who controls Tallinn's budget
The Center Party is ruled by the person who is responsible for Tallinn government and the city's budget, as that is one of the main sources of income for the party, Evelyn Sepp, a former Center Party MP who took on Savisaar, said.
Sepp said the small margin of victory for Savisaar plays no role as a win is a win for him. She said Savisaar also retained control over the party's leadership board and Tallinn's coffers.
“He who holds the wallet, holds the real power," Sepp said. "There are no sources of income in the Parliament and the party is held together by Tallinn taxpayer money, which is controlled by the party leadership,” she said, adding that as long as this financing scheme remains, not much will change in the party.
Sepp was critical of the internal opposition to Savisaar, saying they did not point to Savisaar's unethical behavior and that Kadri Simson failed to speak out on the recent corruption scandal which led to Savisaar being suspended from the office of the mayor.
Sepp said Simson's message was that the party's political program was already good, and that she is just offering a younger alternative.
Political analyst Andreas Kaju said Savisaar is likely to tighten control over the party. Kaju said Savisaar has noted down who said what in the run-up to the party internal elections on Sunday.
He said other parties could begin to coax over Center Party members.