Reform entering Türi coalition with EKRE

Ele Enn talking to AK in Türi on Tuesday.
Ele Enn talking to AK in Türi on Tuesday. Source: ERR

The Reform Party will enter into office with the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) in the central Estonian town of Türi, along with a local electoral alliance, ETV news show 'Aktuaalne kaamera' (AK) reported Tuesday night

Sitting Türi mayor, Lauri Läänemets (SDE), is stepping down in the interests of his party's position at the Riigikogu, while a 23-year-old EKRE politician is to become deputy mayor.

Ele Enn, new municipality elder, said that existing bureaucracy and patronage in the district of around 11,000 inhabitants would be in focus, though not radically reformed.

Enn said: "At present, there are quite a few municipal jobs which should be, as it were, municipal officials, but in fact they are on the contrary totally political positions."

"We will simply lose these political positions, but replace them with political positions or political people honestly," she went on.

The electoral alliance, called Tulevikuvald Türi, will join EKRE and Reform, AK reported, subject to signing an agreement and next month's confirmation of the October 19 local elections results.

SDE MP Lauri Läänemets is resining as municipality mayor since, were he to retain the post, he would have to forgo his Riigikogu seat, AK reported. This was more for the common good of the party – SDE has 10 seats, which would be reduced to nine if Läänemets kept his Türi mayoral job, as his Riigikogu seat would be taken up by Monika Haukanõmme (Center).

Sitting regional elder in Türi, Pipi-Liis Siemann, has lost her position and now will sit in opposition, AK reported.

In addition to the Türi mayoral post, the post of council leader is to be appointed. One potential candidate is former agricultural minister Mart Järvik (EKRE), AK reported.

Maarja Brause, a doctor at the nearby Järva County Hospital will chair the council, Elar Niglas (EKRE) will be new municipality elder and Ele Enn, head of the Paide kindergarten, will take up the post of deputy mayor, as noted.

Niglas is aged just 23.

Issues in focus include halting the closure of basic schools in the municipality, Niglas told AK.

Reform and EKRE have long been at loggerheads at the national level; regional politics present a very dense and complex political landscape, as reflected both by the interface between councilors and council leaders and national MPs, and the fact that regional electoral alliances appear in the vast majority of councils.

Riigikogu MPs are permitted to sit as local councilors; about half of them do just that. Estonia's seven MEPs are barred from taking up a local council seat, though not from running in the local elections as "vote magnets".


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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