City secretary could lead Tallinn city council in place of Social Democrats

Tallinn city secretary Priit Lello.
Tallinn city secretary Priit Lello. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

If the Social Democratic Party (SDE) cannot come up with a Tallinn city council chairman candidate by Thursday, the city council meeting will be headed by Tallinn city secretary Priit Lello and the sitting will end before the first item on the agenda, i.e. the chairman elections.

The Center Party and the the Social Democratic Party (SDE) signed a coalition agreement for Tallinn city government last week, but SDE has not been able to come up with candidates for top city government positions, including that of city council chairman.

A city council sitting is planned for Thursday, however.

The Tallinn press service told ERR on Tuesday that if SDE does not present a candidate, city secretary Priit Lello will head the meeting. Lello is already preparing for the meeting, but is fine without having to do it, if SDE presents a candidate for city council chairman.

Tallinn city council spokesperson Jukko Nooni specified that Lello must start the council sitting as head either way, but if SDE can name a candidate, they will take over. If no candidate is chosen, the sitting will end after the introduction, as the next items on the agenda - assigning deputy council chairmen - would not be taken up.

The second and third sittings would also be spent on formalities, which assume political management: a mayor is set to be chosen at the second sitting, who is then given authority to create a city government and the city government would be appointed at the third sitting.

Nooni added that the process has been delayed so much that city council sittings might be held every week instead of every other week, as they usually are, as the council must finish the budget process.

SDE board member Riina Sikkut told "Terevisioon" on Monday morning that the party would choose city government candidates by Monday evening, but no developments came from that.

As of the coalition agreement with Center, SDE will get three of the seven deputy mayor seats, the seat of the city council chairman and the post of Nõmme district elder. The deputy mayors will be responsible for entrepreneurship, culture and urban planning.

Center won 45.2 percent of the votes and 38 seats of the 79-member city council. Reform won 15 council seats, EKRE won eight, Eesti 200 won seven seats, SDE won six and Isamaa five seats.

This is the first time in four election cycles that Center has not taken at least 40 seats for the absolute majority and the party had to create a coalition, which they did with the Social Democrats.

Mayor of Tallinn Mihhail Kõlvart (Center) is all but set in stone to continue as mayor, but candidates for other leading positions in Tallinn city government have not yet been announced.


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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