The coalition agreement in the South Estonian town of Elva has finally been signed.
The Sinu Elva electoral alliance joined the Reform Part and, the Center Party and three Isamaa councilors in signing the agreement. Originally, Isamaa, Center and the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE), had been due to set up a coalition, but this later fell through.
The agreement was signed Friday, both by sitting deputies from the 16-seat council, and alternate members – those who did not win a seat but are on the "subs bench" under Estonia's modified d'Hondt system of proportional representation, and would take up a seat if a sitting councilor vacated theirs for any reason.
Margus Ivask, Toomas Laatsit and Meelis Karro were the three Isamaa members who signed the agreement, at the council's first sitting.
The council next convenes Monday afternoon, and is live-linking the session from its youtube page, ERR reports.
The agreement also calls for a five-member government, which would include the rural municipality mayor Priit Värv (Sinu Elva) and Margus Ivask as a development manager.
The council would also set up nine committees, which would host opposition deputies as well as coalition ones.
Isamaa, EKRE and Center started coalition negotiations after the local government elections in October but this failed on the issue of electing a council chair.
EKRE councilor and MP Peeter Ernits cried foul on the development.
Sulev Kuus (Center) is council chair – an important role on a par with, or exceeding in importance, that of municipal mayor.
Elva, Tartu County, has a little over 5,600 inhabitants.
Local councils in any case were legally required to start work this week following the resolution of all complaints arising after polling day, October 17, or the six-day advance voting period which preceded it. In some cases, municipal mayors have not been chosen and may not be until year end, but this does not prevent the councils from working.
There have been 79 municipalities nationwide since the 2017 reforms (before which there were over 200), divided into two categories - city councils, such as that in Tallinn, Tartu and several far smaller settlements, and rural municipalities, such as at Elva.
Editor: Andrew Whyte