The Center Party has unveiled its leading Tallinn city center (Kesklinn) candidates for this October's local election. The front runners are Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Taavi Aas, chief doctor at West Tallinn Central Hospital (LTKH) Arkadi Popov, and current city center Elder Monika Haukanõmm.
The party made its announcement at an outdoor gathering in Tallinn of the kind all the major political parties use in the run-up to polling day.
Arkadi Popov has been a prominent figure throughout much of the coronavirus pandemic.
Riigikogu MP Natalia Malleus, former Harju County Court chair Helve Särgava, art historian Jüri Kuuskemaa and another doctor, Vladimir Afanasjev, are also on Center's list for the Kesklinn district.
Center will also announce the lists of Mustamäe and North Tallinn districts, at separate events, ERR reports.
Jüri Ratas nominated to run in Mustamäe
Party leader and Riigikogu speaker Jüri Ratas has been nominated to run in the Mustamäe district, BNS reports.
"We are going to the Tallinn elections with very strong candidates and a meaningful vision. The Center Party is the right choice," Ratas said of the news.
As Riigikogu speaker he will not be able to take up the city council seat, if elected.
Jüri Ratas was Tallinn mayor 2005-2007 and was aged just 27 when he was first appointed to the post. He was prime minister from November 2016 to January of this year.
Election day is October 17.
Current Tallinn mayor Mihhail Kõlvart remains Center's mayoral candidate.
The party rules alone on the 79-seat city council chambers, rather than in coalition with other parties.
Tallinn has eight districts, where all permanent residents of those districts – including foreign nationals who have permanent residency – are eligible to vote.
Estonia's modified d'Hondt system of proportional representation requires parties to run ordered lists of candidates, which means in practice well-known "vote magnet" candidates are placed high up on the list. Any excess votes beyond the threshold needed to win a seat are, under the rules, distributed to candidates lower down on the list, which often means candidates who polled only a few hundred votes in their own right can win a seat.
Riigikogu MPs may sit on a local authority as well, which over half of them do.
Estonia's seven MEPs may run in the election, but not take up a seat, under the current rules.
This article was updated to include information on Jüri Ratas running in Mustamäe.
Editor: Andrew Whyte