Savisaar must decide whether to run to defend position as party chair

Edgar Savisaar, the Center Party's longtime former chairman. Source: (Siim Lõvi/ERR)

Exactly who will be running for chairman of Estonia's Center Party at the extraordinary congress scheduled to take place next Saturday should become clear sometime Friday.

So far, the only potential candidates to confirm their candidacy for the party's top spot are Second Vice-President of the Riigikogu Jüri Ratas and MEP Yana Toom.

Incumbent chairman Edgar Savisaar, who returned to Tallinn from Moscow yesterday, responded to a journalist at Baltic Station asking whether he had decided to run for chairman of the party by replying that there was a week to go until then.

According to a decision made by the Center Party Council, however, the submission of candidates is to conclude on Friday at the latest. Jaak Aab, acting party secretary general, told ERR that these rules apply to everyone. "If Edgar Savisaar does not provide his written consent today, then it follows that he will not be running," noted Aab.

MEP Yana Toom confirmed to ERR that this time her running for the party's top job is serious this time and that she will not retract her candidacy. "My consent has been submitted, I signed the paper and forwarded it to the office," said Toom. "As far as last year's scenario is concerned, I am not planning such an option for myself this year."

Over half of the Center Party's regional divisions have already submitted their candidates for party chairman. Ratas has received the most nominations, but likewise nominated for the position are incumbent Edgar Savisaar, Toom and Center Party Parliamentary Group member Peeter Ernits.

Editor: Editor: Aili Vahtla

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