The Supreme Court of Estonia on Monday decided not to stop the forced merger of Rakke and Väike-Maarja Municipalities.
Rakke Municipal Council turned to Estonia's top court after the government decided on June 22 that Rakke Municipality must be merged with Väike-Maarja Municipality in the course of the nationwide administrative reform. Rakke Municipality found that the Supreme Court might not reach a decision regarding the constitutionality of the regulation before this October's local elections.
"If the Supreme Court deems the regulation constitutional, a situation will arise in which the council has been voted in for Väike-Maarja Municipality, the creation of which turns out to be unconstitutional," Rakke Municipality had stated in its appeal. The municipality added that several legal regulations would also have to be repealed.
The Supreme Court on Monday decided not to satisfy the municipality's appeal, however, as the Constitutional Review Chamber found that there was no need to halt the regulation taking effect in the current stage. "Such a need may arise if it becomes likely that the proceeding of the court case may not end before election results are announced," the chamber explained. "If the Constitutional Review Chamber fails to reach a decision before election results are announced, the chamber reserves the right to stop the regulation taking effect, if necessary."
Koeru Municipality is one of about a dozen local governments to take forced merger plans to the Supreme Court. It is against being forced to merge with with Albu, Ambla, Imavere, Järva-Jaani, Kareda and Koigi Municipalities to form Järva Municipality and is demanding the right to instead voluntarily merge with Lääne-Viru County's Rakke Municipality, which would create Piibe Municipality, a local government with a combined population of 3,700 and budget of nearly €6 million
Editor: Aili Vahtla