Tanel Kiik to start work as Tallinn deputy mayor Friday
Former Health and Labor Minister Tanel Kiik (Center) is likely to be voted in as one of Tallinn's six deputy mayors Thursday afternoon, replacing Andrei Novikov (Center).
Kiik's areas of responsibility as deputy mayor will be transport and construction, and according to Tallinn City Council's draft decision on the matter, will start work tomorrow, Friday.
While Kiik has said he will most likely run for Center in next spring's general election, he would need to make a choice between retaining the deputy mayoral seat or taking up a Riigikogu seat, a position he has not held before, if he wins a seat.
Kiik said that decision will depend on the outcome of the general election.
He said: "If the Center Party does not becaome a part of the next coalition, I will continue to work as a Tallinn deputy mayor. I will not exchange the position of deputy mayor for the position of an ordinary MP, because it would be unfair to the residents of Tallinn and the city government team, including the mayor, if I were to become deputy mayor for just half a year."
While Riigikogu MPs can hold local council seats too – and around half of them do – they may not take up executive posts in a city government.
If Center did enter office again after the March 5 2023 general election, Kiik, who was health minister over two administrations, 2019 to 2022, first under Jüri Ratas and then Kaja Kallas, said he would need to consider his options.
Kiik was head of Ratas' office prior to becoming a minister.
Andrei Novikov finished work as a deputy mayor on August 12, to take up a post as board member at city transport company TLT. He had been a deputy mayor since 2017.
Center had been in office alone in Tallinn, until the October 2021 local elections, after which the party lost its overall majority, and entered into a coalition with the Social Democrats (SDE).
That majority means Kiik should be a shoo-in as deputy mayor.
The parties share their deputy mayoral spots evenly, while Center retains the mayoral position, held by Mihhail Kõlvart.
The Tallinn city council vote starts at 4 p.m. Estonian time today, Thursday.
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Editor: Andrew Whyte