Prime minister and Center Party chairman Jüri Ratas on Thursday justified his party’s decision to offer Edgar Savisaar the first place on its Tallinn list for the upcoming local elections.
At the Thursday government press conference, Ratas confirmed that the offer had been made to the former long-time chairman of the party, who has been charged with graft, embezzlement, money laundering, and having accepted illicit political donations.
“We’ve said that he could run if his health allows it,” Ratas said. His responses to the questions about Savisaar remained somewhat monosyllabic, though asked why Savisaar had been made the offer, Ratas simply said that he had “contributed enough to Tallinn’s development”.
According to the prime minister, the coalition won’t be affected by the decision. “The health of the coalition is good and we’re working”, Ratas said.
Minister of the Interior Andres Anvelt (SDE), also present at the press conference, commented on the situation as well, saying that while he certainly couldn’t forbid anyone to be a candidate, hearing the news had “astounded” him “as a private person”.
Following demands made by Center Party MEP and leadership member Yana Toom last week, Savisaar was offered the position of front runner on Center’s general election list for Tallinn, though he won’t be the party’s candidate for mayor. This position is already occupied by acting mayor Taavi Aas, who has been running the city’s business since Savisaar was suspended for the investigation and following charges against him.
Editor: Dario Cavegn