New MP to Take Seat Vacated by Savisaar-Toomast
A loyal Center Party member will fill Yana Toom's seat in national Parliament when Toom heads off to Brussels as MEP - not an outgoing member of European Parliament who is no longer with the Center Party.
A question mark had hovered over whether outgoing MEP Vilja Savisaar-Toomast, who left the Center Party midway through her term, would vacate the seat in national Parliament, as she was not explicitly compelled to do so by parliamentary rules.
"In the end, I concluded that giving up the mandate was more ethical than accepting it," she said this week.
Mihhail Korb, a face prominent on Tallinn campaign posters in recent elections, will take her seat, it was announced Thursday.
There may have been more to her decision. Postimees reported on Wednesday that had she accepted the alternate's seat in national Parliament, Savisaar-Toomast would have missed out on tens of thousands of euros in compensation that the EP pays to deputies if they are not re-elected.
Savisaar-Toomast had been elected to national Parliament as well as to Brussels as a member of the Center Party, but left the party midway through the term, following several other prominent members.
Savisaar-Toomast was not re-elected to Estonian Parliament, while Yana Toom put in one of the best performances of any individual politician, winning some 25,200 votes, more than anyone else in the Center Party.