In news that was largely overshadowed by voting results, the nation woke up today with 11 fewer municipalities as the elections signaled a number of local mergers.
Four municipalities surrounding Viljandi city united into one Viljandi local government, population 9,751. IRL and the Social Democrats claimed victory in the new municipality, each winning seven seats in the 23-member council. Two election coalitions won four seats each, with the Center Party claiming the last seat.
Põlva city merged with a surrounding rural government, creating a new municipality of 10,160 inhabitants. IRL also won there, claiming eight of the 23 council seats, followed by the Center Party with seven.
The nation's most populous county, Harju, also saw a merger, with Kose and Kõue uniting into one 7,314-strong municipality. Two election coalitions with eight and seven seats, and the Social Democrats with four, will form the new 19-seat council.
The other mergers were:
- Kärdla city and Kõrgessaare merged into the Hiiu municipality, population 4,934. The election coalition One Hiiumaa and IRL each picked up six seats in the 19-member council.
- Lavassaare and Audru in Pärnu County have formed the Audru rural municipality, population 5,926. IRL took 14 of the 17 seats.
- Risti, Taebla and Oru, in Lääne County, are now Lääne-Nigula, population 4,288. The election coalition Balance and the Social Democrats won seven and six seats, respectively, out of 17.
- Püssi, Maidla and Lüganise in Ida-Viru County have merged into Lüganuse rural municipality, population 3,390. Three election coalitions with five, five and two seats are joined on the council by the Center Party, which won three of the 15 seats.