Paide mayor steps down due to health issues

Siret Pihelgas.
Siret Pihelgas. Source: Olev Kenk/ERR

The municipal government in the central Estonian town of Paide has resigned after the mayor, Siret Pihelgas, stepped down, citing health matters.

ETV news show "Aktuaalne kaamera" (AK) reported Thursday that Pihelgas submitted her resignation, citing health issues which had come to a head at the end of last year.

Pihelgas had said: "Currently, there are two options, whether I go to work or focus on my health. I chose the second option."

According to ERR, however, some-time Järva County governor Alo Aasma, who ran in last October's local elections on the same electoral list in Paide as Pihelgas did, had been putting pressure on the latter to resign, stating mismanagement of municipality finances.

Aasma declined an interview with AK, but issued a statement saying that Pihelgas'

Alo Aasma refused to be interviewed by the "Topical Camera", saying only that the mayor's departure was related to the difficult state budget of Paide, which is due to the high debt burden and the poor economic situation, which will worsen in the autumn.

Pihelgas denied that pressure from Aasma was behind her resignation, and said in fact the reverse was the case and she had encouraged him to take the lead.

"However, since Alo Aasma is not interested in that, we have another candidate in reserve. Eimar Veldre is on our side, but the coalition must give its approval," Pihelgas said, adding the candidate is a Paide resident and has worked at the interior ministry.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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