Center Party deputy leader Tanel Kiik says that he will return to sit in the Riigikogu, once it convenes. Kiik has been a Tallinn Deputy Mayor since last September, and had previously stated he intended to continue in that post until the next local elections, in 2025 ETV news show "Aktuaalne kaamera" (AK) reported Wednesday.
Kiik wrote on his social media account that: "In my view I could contribute to promoting Estonian life, either by being the deputy mayor of Tallinn responsible for city property and transport, or by realizing the mandate I received in the Riigikogu elections."
Kiik won a seat in the March 5 Riigikogu elections, but local government members are not permitted to sit in parliament at the same time.
"The choice did not come easily to me, but it became time I needed to make it, so today I informed both the party chair and the Mayor of Tallinn, about my decision," he continued.
Center's chair, Riigikogu speaker Jüri Ratas, faces a leadership challenge from the Tallinn mayor, Mihhail Kõlvart.
"The political situation in the country and in the party has changed significantly over the past six months, and after consulting with dozens of party colleagues and friends, I certainly decided in favor of entering the Riigikogu," Kiik went on.
Kiik polled at 2,070 votes at the March 5 election. While this was not enough to win a seat in his own name (which only a minority of candidates do), nor to win a district mandate, he obtained a seat via the nationally-distributed compensation mandate route.
Kiik, a former adviser to Jüri Ratas, was particularly prominent during the Covid pandemic, when he was health minister. Since this, along with his stint as a Tallinn deputy mayor, ran for much of the XIV Riigikogu's life-span, he has had relatively little seat-time at the Riigikogu in his political career so far.
Two other Center Party members who are sitting deputy mayors but who also won Riigikogu seats on March 5, Vadim Belobrovtsev and Vladimir Svet, have yet to announce which option they will take up.
Editor: Andrew Whyte, Barbara Oja
Source: 'Aktuaalne kaamera'