Although he told ERR in October that he is not tempted by a possible seat in city government, the Tartu city council appointed former culture minister and current Estonian Literary Museum (Eesti Kirjandusmuuseum) director Tõnis Lukas (Isamaa) as the council chairman.
Lukas, the common candidate of the three-party coalition of Reform, Isamaa and the Social Democratic Party, received 29 of the 49 possible city council votes. Lukas was also Isamaa's mayoral candidate.
The former culture minister told ERR right after the local elections in October that he would not give up his role managing the museum for politics. No, definitely not. Politics is in the hands of professionals, I am not a professional politician at this moment," Lukas said.
Tõnis Lukas was Minister of Culture from April 2019 to January 2021, in the Center/EKRE/Isamaa coalition.
EKRE representative Silver Kuusik proposed Eesti 200 chairwoman Kristina Kallas be appointed as city council chair and she received 19 votes.
Reno Laidre (Reform) was appointed as council deputy chairman, receiving 30 votes. The council decided against the opposition's proposal to have two deputy chairs on the council, which meant that EKRE, Eesti 200 and Center deputy chair candidate Loone Ots (18 votes) was left off the council.
The Tartu city council will meet again on Friday to appoint a mayor and deputy mayors. It is likely that current mayor Urmas Klaas (Reform) will continue.
The Reform Party, Isamaa and the Social Democratic Party (SDE) signed a coalition agreement in the end of October, keeping Urmas Klaas (Reform) as the city's mayor. Reform won 19 seats in the 49-seat Tartu city council, both EKRE and Eesti 200 received eight seats on the council, SDE got five seats, as did Isamaa. Center Party sent four people to the city council.
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste