The Center Party and the Social Democrats (SDE) have not yet signed an agreement to enter office together at Tallinn city council, while Center's secretary general says a deal might not even be struck next week, either.
Secretary General of the Center Party Andre Hanimägi told ERR Thursday that the main goal is to have an agreement in place in time for the first city council session – whose date is not yet known anyway.
Hanimägi added that both parties have a plenty of good ideas, which will take time to work through, but that cooperation had been constructive and respectful.
Center had previously held office alone in Tallinn, but coming away with 38 seats at the October 17 local elections meant it was now two seats short of retaining that majority.
Rather than replicate the coalition Center is in at the national level, with Reform, Center made an offer to SDE, which has six seats, to enter talks. SDE duly agreed and the talks started this week.
SDE's Tallinn city council leader is Raimond Kaljulaid, a former Center Party MP who quit the party after it started talks to enter office at the national level, with the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) in spring 2019.
This week, Kairet Remmak-Grassmann, elected as an EKRE councilor, left the party following its leadership's participation in an anti-vaccine, anti-coronavirus restrictions demonstration last Saturday. Remmak-Grassmann stays on as a non-affiliated deputy.
Coalition negotiations have been ongoing across many of Estonia's 79 municipalities since October 17. In a minority of cases, parties get to rule in isolation (such as Reform in Rae municipality), and as noted Center had done just that in Tallinn prior to the elections, but coalitions are more common.
Editor: Andrew Whyte