Before Jüri Ratas’ rise to the position of Prime Minister, he was considered his party’s most likely choice for next year’s campaign for mayor of Tallinn. Now that he is otherwise engaged, the question is who the Center Party will make their candidate.
The Center Party has built a strong local base over the years. Former long-time party chairman, Edgar Savisaar, scored Estonia’s best personal election results in Tallinn, as there is a large support for Center among local Russian speakers.
Asked by ERR’s Estonian news portal on Monday who he thought the party might choose, deputy chairman Jaanus Karilaid made it a point to say that nothing official had been discussed yet. “The line certainly isn’t short. The municipal level has been the Center Party’s trump card,” Karilaid said.
The parties have less than a year left until the next local elections, but still, the Center Party’s candidate most likely wouldn’t be chosen before spring next year.
According to Karilaid, the party needs to find a personality that appeals to the Estonian as well as the Russian community, and manages to muster a certain uniting spirit. Asked if the party’s MEP, Yana Toom, could be one of the candidates, Karilaid said that everybody would be given the same chance.
“Looking at the starting positions inside the party, then Mihhail Kõlvart has a very good position. An even stronger one than Yana Toom, if we compare them”, Karilaid said.
On the list of potential candidates could be up to ten people. Another politician Karilaid named was Arvo Sarapuu, who is familiar with both the Estonian and Russian community. Both Kõlvart and Sarapuu are deputy mayors of Tallinn.
Editor: Editor: Dario Cavegn