Opposition candidates for Tallinn mayor promise changes in government

Tallinn City Government building at Vabaduse Väljak 7.
Tallinn City Government building at Vabaduse Väljak 7. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Parties' candidates for the position of Mayor of Tallinn promise to put an end to Center Party's long-standing power in city government.

EKRE announced their candidate for the position on Tuesday and now the mayor candidates have been announced by all parties. EKRE has put up party chairman Martin Helme for the position, Reform's candidate is Kristen Michal, Isamaa's is Urmas Reinsalu and the Social Democratic Party's (SDE) candidate is Raimond Kaljulaid, Eesti 200's candidate is Marek Reinaas and the Estonian Greens have presented Züleyxa Izmailova, ETV's daily affairs "Aktuaalne kaamera" reported on Tuesday.

That is not to mention current mayor Mihhail Kõlvart, who is part of the Center Party, which is solely in power in the capital city.

The opposition candidates have all said they hope to bring change to Tallinn city government in order to break up the exclusive power Center has in the city.

SDE candidate Raimond Kaljulaid said the main question is if opposition parties are able to make it so that no party gets the majority in the city council and can create a city government alone. "I think there are good conditions for it this time," Kaljulaid said.

Reform candidate Kristen Michal noted that the current city government and a so-called stagnation embodies sole power and the Center Party. "It has become very clear during this coronavirus crisis that the living space and urban space should be better. It must be more human-friendly," Michal said.

Isamaa candidate Urmas Reinsalu also talked about felling Center from their position as the sole authority in city government. "Our preference is actually changing Tallinn as much as possible. This one-party power must certainly fall. And when it comes to these opposition powers, we are certainly prepared to cooperate with everyone and all political powers who support change in Tallinn," Reinsalu said.

Martin Helme said EKRE would not be happy with just dropping Center from their sole position. "I am a little worried that everyone wants to remove Center from power, but there is a hook hidden in all this - overthrowing exclusive power does not mean overthrow Center. Our goal is to offer up a clear alternative to Center's sole power, our wish is that there would be a coalition with no Center at all," Helme said.

Züleyxa Izmailova said the Greens see climate as a prominent topic. "And people being able to speak their mind on topics affecting their environments, of course. The current city management is opaque in our eyes and I would say corrupt in some cases," Izmailova said.

Current mayor Mihhail Kõlvart expressed hope that Center's competitors have other ambitions besides removing his party from city government altogether. "I still hope that the our competitors' greatest goal is the realization of a vision and not just capturing power. Tallinn must have a long-term development vision. Greater goals that should not just depend on the election cycle," Kõlvart said.


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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