Isamaa left the ruling coalition in Pärnu on Tuesday, and the Pärnu United Electoral Alliance (Valimisliit Pärnu Ühendab) will now begin negotiations with the current coalition partner, Center Party, and the opposition party Estonian Conservative People's Party (EKRE).
Mayor of Pärnu, Romek Kosenkranius, told ERR that Andres Metsoja, a member of the Isamaa faction, assured him Tuesday morning that Isamaa wants to step down from the ruling coalition and start planning for an alternative coalition with the Reform Party.
"We were informed by the media on Monday of Isamaa's decision to leave the coalition. On Tuesday morning, I asked Andres Metsoja (Isamaa) whether it was true and he confirmed it," said Kosenkranius.
He said that the general meeting of the Pärnu United Electoral Alliance was held late on Monday, and talks with the Center Party, a member of the alliance, and EKRE, currently in opposition, will begin tomorrow.
"The Pärnu United Electoral Alliance has certainly received a mandate from its voters to start a new coalition. We will start negotiations and see where we end up," said Kosenkranius.
Kosenkranius said the negotiations with the Center Party are likely to go smoothly. "We have been in the coalition with them for two and a half years and the coalition has worked very smoothly," the mayor said. "The question is what the negotiations with the third party will be, but I'm optimistic."
Pärnu United Electoral Alliance, the Center Party and the EKRE have a total of 20 seats between themselves in Pärnu, while Isamaa and Reform have 19 seats.
Andres Metsoja told ERR it is not yet possible to say that Isamaa will now be in opposition. He says the party is looking for a third or fourth partner in addition to the Reform Party. "We will have an open discussion with everyone, we have consulted everyone," he said.
Pärnu United Electoral Alliance, Isamaa and Center Party formed a coalition in autumn 2017. In the 39-member council, the election coalition received seven seats, Isamaa 10 and the Center Party seven. The Reform Party and EKRE were left in opposition. The only Social Democrat running for office later joined the electoral alliance.
Since Christmas coalitions have also broken down in Tartu and Valga.
Editor: Helen Wright