Former foreign minister Urmas Reinsalu will be Isamaa's mayoral candidate in Tallinn in October's elections, and will run on an anti-corruption platform, he has announced.
Reinsalu told ERR Wednesday that: "This one-party power has slowed down the development of the city, endangered Estonia's security and ignored the interests of the capital's citizens."
The Center Party rules alone on Tallinn city council, whereas in many other local municipalities, not to mention the national government, coalitions are the norm.
Reinsalu also stressed the place of Tallinn as an Estonian city, as he sees it.
"Tallinn must be a city where Estonian-ness, the Estonian language and honest administration are valued. A city where the interests of the elderly, working people, families with children and homeowners are all represented," he went on.
The Center Party has long been associated with the Russian-speaking population in Estonia, particularly in the northeast of the country, where in many towns native Russian-speakers make up the majority, as well as in Tallinn.
The party has been running the capital in a "pro-Russian" and corrupt manner for two decades now, Reinsalu said, while the Isamaa election slogan ahead of October's polls is to be "Plats puhtaks" (English: "Clean the square" – the slogan was unveiled in Vabaduse väljak (Freedom Square), see cover image), which the party's predecessor the Pro Patria Union had used as a rallying cry in the 1992 general election.
Isamaa's electoral platform in Tallinn will include all-Estonian-language kindergartens and schools by the 2027-2028 academic year – some schools provide some of their teaching in the Russian language – with one of the half-dozen deputy mayors which the incumbent party/ies are granted along with the mayoral post to be tasked with overseeing this transition.
The deputy mayor would also pay attention to Estonian language being used in public spaces and the creeping infringement of not only Russian, but also English and any other foreign languages, while a €200-per-month scholarship will be granted to a Tallinn-resident student studying an Estonian-language course, ERR reports.
Other candidates the party unveiled as running in Tallinn including writer Mihkel Mutt, MEP Riho Terras, who is also a former defense forces commander - as is Tarmo Kõuts, also running, plus former Bank of Estonian supervisory board member Jaan Männik, and former population affairs Riina Solman, among others.
Urmas Reinsalu was foreign minister April 2019 to January of this year, and is also a former justice minister and, before that, defense minister.
This article was updated to include the names of other Isamaa candidates running in Tallinn.
Editor: Andrew Whyte