Isamaa, Center lock SDE out of Rakvere city government

Triin Varek continues as Rakvere mayor.
Triin Varek continues as Rakvere mayor. Source: Kristel Mänd/Rakvere city government.

The Social Democratic Party (SDE) has lost its local government in the town of Rakvere after a coalition agreement between Center and Isamaa was signed Wednesday. The two parties won 12 seats at the 21-seat chamber, giving them a majority.

Kert Karus (Isamaa), one of Rakvere's deputy mayors, said that: "Isamaa's pledge to lift the obligation of property owners to keep the sidewalks snow-free from the autumn of 2022 is particularly amenable to me, and I am pleased to start putting this pledge into practice."

The opposition in Rakvere will now comprise not only SDE with two seats, but also the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (four seats), Reform (one seat), Eesti 200 (one seat) and electoral alliance Rakvere Heaks (one seat).

In addition to council chair  Mihkel Juhkami, Isamaa holds two deputy mayor posts, one covering the urban economy and the other with responsibility for housing, business and several other areas.

Center has a deputy mayorrepsibsible for education and youth work, and deputy council chair, as well as Mayor Varek.

Center pledged before the election to boost some benefits, including maternity payment, and to provide free breakfasts for schoolchildren at risk of poverty, as well as free bus transport for over-65s; all of these pledges found their way on to the coalition agreement with Isamaa, ERR reports.

The Lääne-Viru County town, population circa 15,000, is dominated by two edifices, its late-Medieval castle (Rakvere ordulinnus), and the 18th-19th century Rakvere Manor (Rakvere mõis), one part of which was converted into a theater, in the 1930s. While the castle is a ruin, the theater is very much active, and two of its leading lights, husband-and-wife actors Indrek Saar and Ülle Licthfeldt ran in Sunday's elections. While Lichtfeldt ran for SDE in Rakvere, Saar, the party's current leader, ran instead in the Nõmme district of Tallinn, having to re-register his address in the summer to do so.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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