Kross Emerges as Opposition Leader in Tallinn

Eerik-Niiles Kross Source: Photo: ERR

Eerik-Niiles Kross, who ran an energetic campaign in Tallinn and even attracted notice from international authorities, positioned himself as shadow mayor and head of the opposition on city council this morning, pledging to continue his party's fight for Tallinn. 

He told ETV's morning show Terevisioon that his party, IRL, with help from the Reform Party and the Social Democrats, would have additional chances to unseat the Center Party, which has ruled Tallinn for most of the last 12 years.

"Naturally everyone tells thsemlevs they are winning in an election atmosphere and it was clear from the beginning that it will not be easy, but I think we showed in the last few months that a large share of Tallinners are prepared for changes and tired of the Center Party rule that has lasted years. Something new is in the air in Tallinn and we plan on breathing that new air and going forward," he said.

He talked of the campaign as well.

"I have seen elections in various places around the world and we have experienced politicians in our party. One key to success is everyday work. We got our staff running many months ago and put my other projects aside and devoted myself to the campaign constantly, to information and thinking. More or less all of IRL's professional young staffers were involved and many volunteers joined us, bringing energy and more resources," said Kross.

Kross said the campaign was not a circus as some have charged but a "classical campaign."

"We did everything that is usually done in campaigns very well, from ads to opinion editorials, interview attempts, as politicians are not allowed on the air during the campaign. We also used some unusual techniques all of which had the message that Tallinn had a conflict with its values."

He said that four months ago no one thought corruption was a topic that most voters were interested in or that most voters could be motivated for changes in Tallinn.

IRL came second in Tallinn, improving on even its last, October, poll figures and was second overall in the country.

IRL has been experiencing infighting over the last years, with a conservative camp developing and several politicians leaving the party.

"The historical significance of these elections is not the Tallinn results or how many votes anyone got but that the national forces and nationalist party IRL matured into a united team," said Kross, who last night drew a question from an ETV journalist as to whether he might rise to be the leader of IRL.

Kross did not comment on the Russian warrant for his arrest, which was posted on Interpol a day before the elections.

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