Former Tallinn mayor running in local elections with anti-vaxxer group

Edgar Savisaar.
Edgar Savisaar. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

Former Tallinn mayor Edgar Savisaar is running in the Tallinn district of Lasnamäe in this October's local elections. Savisaar is running with Vaba Eesti, one of two electoral alliances registered on the capital's candidate lists and which is running on an anti-vaccination, Eurosceptic platform.

Savisaar, 71, who was mayor 2001-2004 and 2007-2015 with the Center Party, which he co-founded, told Postimees that: "I am not giving any interviews right now. A little later."

The Vaba Eesti group arose from a coronavirus-sceptic and anti-vaccine popular movement, whose leader Veiko Huuse had said a full-fledged party was planned

The alliance's website states that: "Vaba Eesti is an association of free sovereign people, whose aim is to end the current political leadership of parties and to transfer the leadership of Estonia, to the citizens of Estonia. A free person does not have to submit to any system which restricts their freedom, health and justice, to any institution, to any ideology."

A referendum on EU membership would be one of its first actions, the website adds.

Electoral alliances are fewer in number this year than in previous local elections, with just two in Tallinn, Vaba Eesti and Narodni Soyuz, a Russian-language group. Alliances often run on platforms specific to their locality, and many smaller municipalities nationwide will still see them on the ballot list on October 17.

Savisaar was also first prime minister of an independent Estonia, holding the post for a few months from August 1991.

A long-running case involving several defendants, including the Center Party, but dubbed the "Savisaar corruption trial" in the media started in 2017.

Proceedings against the former mayor were abandoned on health grounds and following a Supreme Court ruling at the end of 2018.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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