Pärnu City Council member Andres Metsoja (Isamaa) told ERR on Monday, that a change of power is about to take place in the city, which will involve Isamaa replacing the Center Party in the council's coalition.
"It seems that a new coalition is indeed being born. This week, we are moving in that direction together with the Reform Party and the electoral coalition Pärnu Ühendab (Parnu Unites)," Metsaoja said. "At yesterday's meeting, we discussed important issues, and one of them is definitely the construction of a bridge in the center of Pärnu," Metsoja added.
He also outlined the new coalitions priorities as being linked to the development of Rail Baltic, and making Pärnu a more suitable environment for young people to acquire higher education.
Metsoja declined to disclose further details about the projected timetable for the change of power in the city, or how the coalition talks are expected to progress. "We have expressed our readiness for coalition talks, but it is for the mayor to say publicly how we will move forward," Metsoja said.
According to Metsoja, the existing Pärnu coalition has not been working well for a long time. "The rift that was already there was so big, that it broke," said Metsaoja, adding that he believed it could have been due to the Center Party focusing too much on pointing the finger for the faltering construction of the city center bridge. "It's not okay for Pärnu to be seen as an unreliable partner at the state level because the arguments amongst the (city) coalition have become so big," Metsaoja said.
According to a press release from representatives of the new Pärnu coalition, trust in the previous coalition had been shattered.
"The coalition, which was formed last fall between the Electoral Alliance Pärnu Ühendab (Pärnu Unites), the Estonian Reform Party and the Estonian Center Party fell apart last week. The coalition's ability to work together and trust was shattered after Jüri Ratas, leader of the Center Party, proposed the creation of a new coalition in Pärnu involving Isamaa and EKRE, behind the backs of today's coalition partners," the statement said.
The current ruling coalition in Pärnu consists of Pärnu Ühendab (Pärnu Unites), Reform and Center, with Isamaa and the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) in opposition.
In an opinion piece published on ERR's Estonian-language portal on Saturday, chair of the Pärnu City Council Andrei Korobeinik (Center) wrote, that Mayor Romek Kosenkranius would exchange the Center Party for Isamaa in the coalition
"The mayor is selling off the power coalition for €5 million, which Andres Metsoja from Isamaa and Toomas Kivimägi from the Reform Party promised to put into next year's state budget for the construction of a new bridge in Pärnu," Korobeinik wrote. Kosenkranius denied the claims.
Editor: Michael Cole