Paide coalition collapses, reforms without Center Party

Paide Mayor Priit Värk Fatherland and council chairman Aivar Tubli. Source: ERR / OLEV KENK

The coalition in Paide, central Estonia, collapsed on Thursday night. The new coalition includes the Reform Party, instead of the Center Party, alongside the Social Democratic Party (SDE) and Isamaa.

Late on Thursday evening Paide Mayor Priit Värk (Isamaa) announced the coalition had disintegrated.

The change must now be approved by the council, which means replacing the chairman of the council Aivar Tubli, a member of Center Party, who has reportedly been involved in a scandal. Tensions within the council predate this, Värk said.

Värk said: "In the coming days, talks between the partners will continue in order to finally agree on the plans and activities which will also be fixed in the coalition agreement."

Representatives of Isamaa and SDE said the council has run effectively since 2017 until now, but long-running disagreements mean it cannot continue.

Newspaper Järva Teataja wrote on Monday Tubli is embroiled in a scandal. 

"The scam is that I introduced myself to Riho Naeris as a representative of the Paide city government and ordered the cleaning and removal of the ruins of the chimney of the Viisu vodka factory on behalf of the Paide city government," Tubli explained. He said since the suspicion is unfounded he did not plan to resign.

Värk told ERR that the tensions in the city government had lasted for the last three weeks and that the Center Party had to be expelled from the coalition to resolve them.

He said the decision was not influenced by the revelations about Tubli but it did not help the situation.

"I don't want to start washing dirty laundry in front of the public, it wouldn't be correct. But there have been problems and the whole team has lost its peace and restored it," the mayor said.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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