Ida-Viru County Outreach and Isolation Debated
The Social Democrats' top candidate in Narva, Jevgeni Ossinovski, described the long-time lack of an opposition in Ida-Viru County as a "tragedy."
He said the parties in the national government, the Reform Party and IRL, have neglected the region.
"I think it is Ida-Viru County's tragedy that the coalition parties have not taken it seriously. That is what caused many Ida-Viru towns to become isolated from the national government. I hope that both coalition governments draw their conclusions and begin more actively reaching out to the Ida-Viru voter. Since this is a Russian-speaking electorate, they need to reevaluate some of their positions," Ossinovski told ETV.
Speaking on the same TV program, IRL chairman Urmas Reinsalu said he, too, was concerned by his party's lower-than-hoped result in Ida-Viru County. His party is ideologically national-conservative, the Russian-Estonian is not their average voter, and the majority of Narva's population is ethnic Russian.
"At present, it is not easy to be an IRL member in Narva. But our people took up this battle knowing that it is the first step of a long road," Reinsalu said.
"What is happening in Tallinn is a walk in the park compared with what's happening in Narva."
In one of the big successes of Estonia's October 20 local elections, Ossinovski collected more votes than any other single candidate in Narva, and his party now holds a third of the seats on the Narva City Council. Such a substantial opposition for Narva, long dominated by the Center Party, is a watershed development.