Junior partner Eesti 200 announced on Thursday afternoon its withdrawal from Narva's ruling coalition over the handling of the removal of the Soviet tank monument. A new coalition will now need to form.
Denis Larchenko, head of Eesti 200's Narva faction, said in a statement the party had left due to differences in "leadership culture and values". Eesti 200 has been in coalition with Katri Raik's electoral alliance since the last election in November 2021.
He said the collapse of the coalition was clear after it failed to gain enough votes to support the decision to move the tank. The party then demanded a plan about how to proceed.
"Today's announcement by the chairman of the council that it does not recommend taking any responsibility and that only the state is to blame is the last straw, which confirms that we cannot move forward in this coalition because it stands for the shadows of the past and does not work to make the necessary changes needed in Narva. Eesti 200 voters have not given their mandate to it either," Larchenko said.
He said the party was glad to be in government over the last eight months and several important education and economic reforms were made during that time.
On Monday, after weeks of deliberations, Narva council chose to opt out of making a decision to move the T-34 soviet tank, leaving the responsibility in the hands of the national government.
Eesti 200 had one seat on the council. Last November, Raik ran as an independent councilor in the local elections and won 15 of a possible 16 seats in a landslide victory, booting the Center Party out of power.
Narva was the only place where Eesti 200 was part of a governing coalition.
Editor: Helen Wright