Deputy Mayor of Tallinn Vladimir Svet (Center) has announced he will remain in post, and will not take up the Riigikogu seat that he won at the election, a month ago today.
Svet is thus taking a different route from his party-mates Tanel Kiik and Vadim Belobrovtsev, who are both leaving their deputy mayoral posts, to take up Riigikogu seats.
Under Estonian electoral law, local government leaders may not sit at the Riigikogu – the same applies to government ministers, MEPs, local council leaders, and several other categories – though this does not bar them from running in an election, causing them to have to make a decision if they do win a seat.
Deputy Mayor Svet says that he sees the votes he won – 1,867 of them – on March 5 are symbolic in recognition for his work as deputy mayor and, before that, as district elder in two different districts in the capital.
Svet also said that the fact that Center will remain in opposition at the Riigikogu was a factor.
He said: "I have decided to forgo my position as a member of the Riigikogu and continue as the deputy mayor of Tallinn. I thank all the people who supported me in the elections."
"I take this as a testimony to my work so far, which I want to continue. Unfortunately, the Center Party remained in the opposition and will not be part of a government coalition. In the current situation, I feel that I can support my voters and better stand up for the interests of other Tallinners by continuing as deputy mayor. We have a strong team in Tallinn, and ambitious plans to strive towards," he went on.
Svet ran in the Keslinn, Lasnamäe and Pirita electoral district.
He also won a seat at the 2019 Riigikogu election, and also declined to take that seat up, in this case in order to continue as district elder in the Tallinn City Center (Kesklinn) district.
He became one of seven Tallinn deputy mayors after the local elections in autumn 2021, after which Center entered office in coalition with the Social Democrats – it had previously been in office in Tallinn on its own.
Center's leader, Jüri Ratas, outgoing Riigikogu speaker, is facing a party leadership challenge from Tallinn Mayor Mihhail Kõlvart.
The XV Riigikogu is due to convene for the first time next Monday.
Editor: Andrew Whyte, Marko Tooming