Katri Raik: Narva has changed

Katri Raik on
Katri Raik on "Hommik Anuga". Source: Kairit Leibold/ERR

Narva local election winner Katri Raik said on the ETV "Hommik Anuga" morning show that election results show Narva has changed.

Raik said that her election victory will take her to the border city for the third time and that she will not be leaving again. "Narva is my destiny, I cannot be free of it anymore. I have left twice but will not attempt it for a third time."

Raik said that Narva had developed political dynasties over the last two decades and they needed to be dismantled.

"And the only way to do that is with help from voters. The most valuable player of these elections is the Narva voter who voted for me, an Estonian – Russian men in Narva voted for a middle-aged Estonian woman. What grounds are there to still suggest Narva is not an Estonian city? Of course it is," Raik said.

She said that Narva has changed, which is reflected in the campaign. As the likely incoming mayor, Raik said that while the people of Narva used to fear the city's Estonianization and use of Estonian everywhere, this concern did not dominate the election this time despite not having fully dissipated.

"This was the first time the election was not centered around citizenship and the Russian school. Narva has changed in that sense. Efforts to defend the Russian school system and giving everyone citizenship used to dominate the agenda at whichever elections. These topics were not raised this time. So Narva really has changed."

Raik said that the people of Narva care about local issues, such as coach links, park benches, potholes and abandoned buildings.

"A Narva resident cares about their home being in order, their neighborhood. That is where their Narva and their Estonia starts. We need to understand that," she said.

The election winner said that results suggest Narva is ready for change.

"The winner of this election is the Narva resident who agreed to support change, decided to no longer support Narva being this unhappy place that no one loves. Local politics in Narva has been set in contrast with Tallinn for decades, with relevant rhetoric suggesting no one loves the people of Narva and that there is a dark force somewhere working against it. The people of Narva have come to believe that dark force does not exist," Raik said.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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