The Center Party's board today decided that Kadri Simson will head the party until Edgar Savisaar has recovered from serious health problems. The board also decided to call a general meeting of party members in two weeks.
Taavi Pukk, the party's spokesman, said the decision to name Simson was unanimous.
Savisaar was hospitalized with pneumonia in mid-March. Savisaar, who has been the head of the party for 20 years, had a leg amputated due to an acute infection and is unlikely to make a complete return to high-level politics any time soon. He is also the current mayor of Tallinn.
Simson said her party, which came second in the national election, will not approach IRL and the Social Democrats to open coalition talks until the current talks fail.
“The new power union, where the junior partners already now feel silenced, does not give much basis to believe the set-up will last four years,” Simson told Delfi.
Talks between the Reform Party (30 seats), the Social Democrats (15), IRL (14) and the Free Party (8) broke down a few weeks ago with the smallest party leaving the negotiations. The first three would have 59 seats in Parliament, enough to form government with a fairly strong mandate.
The Center Party won 27 seats and would also be able to form a majority government with the Social Democrats and IRL. Both have ruled out cooperation with an Edgar Savisaar-led Center party, but could be willing to talk to Simson.
Editor: J.M. Laats