Narva Mayork Katri Raik (SDE) confirmed on social media Monday morning that she had made a final decision not to run for election to the Riigikogu next spring.
"This decision is final," Raik wrote. "One year ago, Narva residents gave me a mandate to care for Narva and develop the city. This is a great opportunity and challenge. 4,512 people trusted me to work in Narva and work for Narva, and that our electoral alliance would steer Narva in the direction of good changes. I believe that is indeed possible. I can't let people down and leave Narva."
She added that she's spoken with a lot of Narva residents and knows it would be difficult for them to understand if she were to run in the Riigikogu elections and leave to serve in the Estonian parliament.
"It would sound like fleeing, giving up, betrayal," Raik said. "Not one of these three works for me."
The current mayor of Narva, a member of the coalition Social Democratic Party since 2018, bid everyone running for election next March common sense, courtesy toward their competition and good luck.
In 2019, Raik was elected to the XIV Riigikogu as a member of the SDE with an electoral district mandate in Electoral District 7 (Ida-Viru County). She received 2,112 votes.
The Narva mayor's decision not to run again in 2023 after all is a major setback for the SDE, whose top candidate in Ida-Viru County will instead be current minister of culture Piret Hartman.
The 2023 Riigikogu elections, in which all of the Estonian parliament's 101 seats are up for election, will be held on Sunday, March 5.
MPs are elected to the Riigikogu for a five-year term.
Editor: Aili Vahtla