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Center Party leader Edgar Savisaar critically ill with an infection, leg amputated above the knee

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During the press conference at the Tartu University Clinic on Monday afternoon, it was announced that Tallinn's Mayor and Center Party leader Edgar Savisaar had a second operation today at the hospital and due to an acute infection, doctors had to amputate one of his legs above the knee.

Savisaar, who established the Center Party over 20 years ago, is in an intensive care unit at the hospital, suffering from an acute infection. According to doctors, Savisaar is suffering from Streptococcus bacteria, which caused a toxic syndrome. The syndrome has also damaged his kidneys which are currently supported by a dialysis machine.

Tallinn Mayor Edgar Savisaar who fell critically ill last week, was taken to Tartu University Clinic with a suspected pneumonia. He has been in a coma since Thursday morning. Center Party's board members are supposed to meet next Monday to discuss the current situation and make plans for future.

It has been speculated that even if he recovers from illness, it may take months until he is able to return to work. It is also a possibility that someone from a younger generation of Center Party politicians, such as MPs Kadri Simson and Jüri Ratas, or MEP Yana Toom, will take over from Savisaar as a leader of the party.

While Savisaar is ill, Tallinn's Deputy Mayors Taavi Aas and Kalle Klandorf are in charge of the Estonian capital, while the Center Party deputy leaders Kadri Simson and Enn Eesmaa will look after the party's affairs.

In 1988, Savisaar co-established the Popular Front (Rahvarinne) which became the first political mass organization in Soviet Union outside Communist Party after 1920. Initially formed to "support perestroika", Popular Front started to develop ideas of Estonian national independence and created so called Singing Revolution phenomenon.

From 1990-1991, he was Estonia's Prime Minister, helping the country to regain independence from the Soviet Union. Savisaar has since become one of the longest serving politicians in Estonia, holding also Minister of Interior and Minister of Economic Affairs and Communications positions. He first became Mayor of Tallinn in 2001, holding this position until 2004 and assuming the post again in 2007. In the last parliament election on March 1, he was elected with a record number of 25,000 votes.

Editor: S. Tambur

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