The election of the new mayor of Narva and the chairman of the city council has been pushed back to December 30. The reason given for the delay is the special situation caused by coronavirus and some members are self-isolating.
Katri Raik (SDE), chairman of the "Our Narva"(Meie Narva) faction, said the reasons given by deputy council chairman Larissa Olenina for the delay are strange.
"There is no emergency situation in Ida-Viru County that would prevent the council meeting from being held, of course following all the requirements. There is also no certainty that the next council members will not be in self-isolation on December 30. The real goal is to dissolve the council. In today's crisis situation this is an unacceptable political game," she said.
Former mayor of Narva and chairman of the council Tarmo Tammiste (Center) said the decision is ignorant and unfounded.
Tatjana Stolfat, candidate for the chairman of the council and director of the Narva Social Work Center, said she is concerned about the adoption of the city budget, but especially about the situation caused by COVID.
"In the past, the coalition has always struggled to adopt a budget at the end of the year, but now, in essence, discussions have not even begun. Are personal interests higher than those of the city?" she asked.
Ida-Viru County - where Narva is situated - currently has the highest rate of infection in Estonia at 1021.91 per 100,000 people, in comparison, Harju County's rate is 477.5 per 100,000.
There are estimated to be 1,372 active cases of the virus in Ida-Viru and from December 12 the county will see wide-ranging restrictions imposed to try and lower the infection rate.
Additional support has been sent to the region to help the health care system and hospitals are asking for volunteer workers.
Former mayor lost no-confidence vote in November
Mayor of Narva Aleksei Jevgrafov (Center) lost a vote of no confidence brought against him by Narva City Council on November 11 and was removed from office. Chairman of the council Irina Janovich (Center) also left the council.
17 out of 31 council members voted in favor of the motion of no confidence.
The statement of the motion was put forward by former Mayor of Narva Tarmo Tammiste (Center) and was signed by 10 out of 31 members of the city council, but the signatories expressed hope the vote would be successful.
The main reason for the vote of no confidence was Jevgrafov's work on the proposals submitted by the city for the EU's fair transition plan and an inability to establish "normal relations between the city of Narva and the state".
Editor: Helen Wright