Another political crisis gearing up in Narva

Narva Mayor Katri Raik.
Narva Mayor Katri Raik. Source: Margarita Mironova/ERR

Efforts have been launched in the Narva City Council to remove Mayor Katri Raik from office. This time, the challenge is coming from the head of Raik's own group in the council who believes the mayor is not up to the task of running the border city.

The vote of no confidence in Raik is pursued by Vadim Orlov, chairman of the Future of Narva (Narva Tulevik) city council group. Orlov made the council on Raik's ticket last local elections and was convinced at the time that Raik was the best mayor for Narva. The situation has been turned on its head in the 18 months since. Orlov feels that the relationship between the city council and the city government is deep in crisis, and that it is the mayor's fault.

"To put it very briefly, she is a good historian, good at giving speeches but a poor mayor. The crisis of trust between the council and city government has peaked, and it seems that expressing loss of confidence in the mayor is the best solution," Orlov said.

He believes Raik's administration is not up to the task – the city's supplementary budget has not been approved, structural reforms have failed and bills are ill-prepared.

Katri Raik admits that there is no cooperation with the city council and life in the city has ground to a halt. However, she says that the real reasons behind the planned confidence vote go deeper and that she does not plan to resign.

"We know perfectly well, living in Narva, that his crisis is motivated by a few people's jobs as well as specific projects and solutions, which cannot be regarded as free from corruption. I cannot abide even the slightest hint of influence peddling, which is why I continue to maintain that principals must have a high level of Estonian proficiency and that the laws of Estonia continue to be applied in full in Narva," Raik said.

Anton Pratkunas, a member of the Narva City Council, has left the Future of Narva group because he disagrees with the intentions of some of his colleagues to vote against Mayor Katri Raik.

"I consider it irrational to be a member of a faction that collects signatures to express no confidence in our mayor. I fully support the mayor and oppose this action. It is important to me that Katri Raik continues to serve as mayor. That is what we all went to the polls for," Pratkunas told ERR's Russian service on Saturday.

Vadim Orlov says he has the votes to remove Raik but that he will not rush the vote as a new candidate for mayor needs to be found first.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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