Center Party is not in a rush to find a coalition partner for Tallinn city government, but aims to find one this week, Center chairman Jüri Ratas told ERR on Tuesday.
Ratas said three parties have announced that there will be not be a five-party coalition against Center in Tallinn. "Yesterday (Monday - ed), we discussed with our party members that an election win in Tallinn and 38 seats (in the 79-member city council - ed) means we must be ready to take responsibility. Now we must find out who Center's partner will be going forward," the party chairman said.
Ratas added that the party is aiming to find a partner by the end of this week. "We must deeply consider it and not rush things. But we will also not delay anything. Things have to be clear by the end of this week," the former prime minister noted.
He said the party will only take one partner into the coalition. "For Tallinn, we are talking about two parties that need to sign a coalition agreement for four years. It must certainly contain important principles for Center, but the agreement must also take into account the principles of the potential partner," Ratas said.
Responding to a question about the coalition being the same as in government, where Reform and Center have paired up, Ratas said the connection is not as important as it has been before.
"This is not a question in itself. The question is who we see ourselves being able to implement our principles best with. They will be our partners. A difference or similar coalition in Toompea and the city does not hold as much weight nowadays as it did a few decades ago," Ratas said.
Center won 45.2 percent of the votes and 38 seats of the 79-member city council. Reform won 15 council seats, EKRE won eight, Eesti 200 won seven seats, the Social Democratic Party won six and Isamaa five seats.
This is the first time in four election cycles that Center has not taken at least 40 seats, or the absolute majority and will now need to create a coalition to take power.
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste