Despite the popular perception of political rivalries, often depicted as hostile and incurable, a sampling of what's going on around the country after the October 20 elections shows that power dynamics are more colorful than might be expected.
Just half an hour after the election results came in, local Center Party leaders showed up at Reform's election party and a coalition agreement was reached, while IRL's phone calls went unanswered. It was a reaffirmation of the current coalition, and IRL was again left hanging.
On October 23, the citizens' election coalition Üks Hiiumaa and IRL reached a coalition agreement after rocky negotiations over the mayor's seat. Each group had won 6 seats on the council, with Üks Hiiumaa garnering 692 votes, slightly more than IRL. But IRL candidate Georg Linkov, who single-handedly received 426 votes, demanded nothing less than the mayor's seat, thus demoting Üks Hiiumaa's number one to the council chairmanship.
On October 25, another Center-Reform coalition was formed, with incumbent IRL mayor pushed out of power.
In Jõhvi, matters are not yet clear, with the winner of the election hoping to continue governing the city without a coalition, which would give the opposition a one-seat edge. The citizens' election coalition Jõhvi Heaks won 10 seats, Jõhvi Meie Kodu 6, the Social Dems 3 and Center 2.
Center once again dominated the election in this industrial northeastern city, taking 18 seats and leaving 3 for the Social Democrats.
The incumbent coalition was upset when IRL decided to switch out its traditional partner, sending the incumbent Reform Party mayor packing and bringing in the Social Democratic Party. The latter had collected the most votes as well, taking 8 out of 21 seats on the city council. The Social Democrats had increased their share of the 21-seat council from 1 to 8.
Narva was another city where the Social Democrats made a breakthrough. Falling just below the 5 percent threshold needed to win seats in 2009, they grabbed 11 seats out of 31 this time around. Nevertheless, the Center Party continued its rule, albeit now with a healthy opposition.
The incumbent coalition IRL and Reform sealed a deal, leaving out the third-place Social Dems and fourth-place Center.
IRL voters from the farming regions around the town of 6,000 propelled the party to 31 percent of the vote. But Reform only has 2 seats, making it more likely that the Social Dems will team up with Center and local election coalitions.
The election coalition bearing the name of Toomas Kivimägi, the influential mayor, won a few seats fewer this time but it was considered unlikely that he would be odd man out. Talks are ongoing.
IRL, Reform and the Social Democrats formed a coalition, with IRL getting the mayor's post
Having won a single seat, Center tagged along with the IRL-Reform coalition. IRL received 11 seats and Reform 3, leaving the Social Democrats, with 8 seats, to be the only opposition party.
The Center Party won the most votes in the election but IRL, Social Dems and Reform teamed up.
IRL won the election in this semi-rural suburb of Tallinn which is the country's wealthiest municipality, but Reform teamed up with the Social Democrats and the Center Party.
IRL and Social Democrats will form the coalition, with IRL grabbing the mayoral spot away from Reform.
The popular vote went to the right-leaning Reform (1st place) and IRL (3rd), but Center and the Social Democrats teamed up with 2 votes from a local civic election coalition for 11 of the 21 seats.