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Ratas trying to keep Center Party united for local elections

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center).
Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center). Source: (ERR)

At the government’s Thursday press conference Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) was asked if Center Party members not running on party lists in the upcoming local polls would be thrown out, as the Reform Party has announced it.

The prime minister said he was working to keep the party united for the upcoming campaign, and to avoid a situation in which anyone would have to leave.

He pointed out that in the Center Party it was the local sections that decided whether or not to expel members. He was working to see to it that nobody needed to be thrown out, Ratas said, and also confirmed that the ruling principle was that members would run on party lists.

Taking into account the party’s strong position in Tallinn and its clear platform, Ratas said that nobody should really feel compelled to run on another list.

Yana Toom, one of Estonia’s MEPs as well as a member of the party’s leadership, along with a few other members has made demands towards running on an independent list. She has been in negotiations with the prime minister’s wing of the party this week.

One of Toom’s demands is that the party let former long-time chairman Edgar Savisaar run on the party list in Tallinn’s Lasnamäe borough, where Savisaar is extremely popular and repeatedly got a record number of personal votes.

Savisaar is currently facing charges for embezzlement, graft, large-scale money laundering, and having accepted illegal political donations.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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