Kõlvart and Ratas: Other parties should create coalition without us
Center Party chairman Jüri Ratas and Tallinn mayor Mihhail Kõlvart told ERR that parties competing with Center for power in Tallinn should now create an alternative coalition.
"It seems fair and right that the parties, who announced getting rid of Center as their main promise, should now fulfill their promises," Kõlvart told ETV's morning show "Terevisioon" on Monday morning.
Former prime minister and current Riigikogu speaker Jüri Ratas said Center is ready to continue leading Tallinn, but the party must now take into account that five parties, who all were after Center's majority, are now in the local government council.
"Five parties should take the initiative the voter gave them - the voter gave them more than 40 seats (of the 79-seat council - ed) - and try and put together a city government. If they cannot do this, Center is certainly ready to lead the process," Ratas said.
In actuality, EKRE was the only party who stated they would get rid of Center entirely. Isamaa was vocal with their "Plats puhtaks!" (Sweep the Square) campaign, but other parties spoke about ending Center's absolute majority while not ruling out being in coalition with the long-time leader in Tallinn.
After the election results became clear on Sunday, Social Democratic Party chairman Indrek Saar told Vikerraadio that the party sees no option of entering a coalition with EKRE. A coalition without Center cannot be created in Tallinn without the Social Democrats, however.
Kõlvart confirmed that if other parties go to Center for coalition discussions, the party will not give up the responsibility and is open for negotiations. He added that Center will not go into coalition with a party that will rule out Center's election program and who they do not share similar values with.
"We have big things we want to do. Larger objects, such as Tallinn Hospital and Linnahall or the pension extension and new support measures, such as supporting students for September 1. If we find a partner willing to help us see these promises through, a coalition is possible," Kõlvart said.
Center: 45.5 percent (86,994, 38 seats)
Eesti 200: 9.5 percent (18,158, 8)
Reform: 17.8 percent (34,201, 15)
EKRE: 9.5 percent (18,289, 7)
SDE: 7.5 percent (14,445, 6)
Isamaa: 7.1 percent (13,562, 5)
Greens: 2.2 percent (4,221, 0)
Read more here.
Ratas: There needs to be change in Tartu
The Center chairman commented on Center's results in Tartu, where the party was only able to capture four of the 49-seat council, and said the result is far below expected. "Center must now seriously think for the next 15 years, seriously prepare for the Riigikogu elections and there certainly needs to be changes," Ratas said.
"If the district decides for some reason to just leave out a Tartu politician, professor and current MP (Aadu Must - ed), it is just not a reasonable solution," the party chairman noted. "Center must think of their mistakes in Tartu and make corrections."
Speaking about Center's results in Narva, Ratas said any type of infighting and arguments do not provide the party with anything useful. "We took ten seats in Narva and the truth is that Katri Raik's list has done a terrific result there," the Riigikogu speaker said.
Katri Raik's electoral list won 15 seats in Narva, only one seat fewer than an absolute majority for the 31-member council. The Center Party came second with 10 seats and Eesti 200 won two. Former mayor Aleksei Jevgrafov's election alliance "Elagu Narva" won four seats. EKRE, which had been campaigning to win Russian-speakers' votes, failed to cross the threshold and won no seats on the council.
Ratas took 3,034 votes as a candidate in Mustamäe and ended up the eighth highest-polling candidate in all of Estonia, one of five Center Party members in the top-10.
He said he will work in the Tallinn city council. "I have decided to go since I can make many of my principles and statements work as a city council member," Ratas said.
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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste