Social Democratic Party (SDE) chairman Jevgeni Ossinvski confirmed in an interview with daily Eesti Päevaleht that he would be running in this October's local elections in Tallinn, as would the remaining SDE ministers.
"Yes, the decision is made — I am running in Tallinn, and we consider it crucial that an upheaval occur in the governing of Tallinn, so we will go into the elections with the maximum of forces we have to offer," Ossinovski said in the interview (link in Estonian). "This means that [Minister of Culture] Indrek Saar, [Minister of Foreign Affairs] Sven Mikser, [Minister of the Interior] Andres Anvelt, [President of the Riigikogu] Eiki Nestor and many others will be running as well in order to support our team."
Ossinovski, who is currently serving as Minister of Health and Labour, will be running in the Central Tallinn district.
Asked whether the ministers running in the elections are simply vote magnets, the party chairman replied that a ministerial position isn't forever and that the mandate for a municipal council is longer than that of the current Riigikogu.
Commenting on the other parties and election coalitions running in the elections in Tallinn, Ossinovski said that the Center Party, which has been in power in the capital city for three terms, has been using Tallinn as a machine with which to keep itself in power.
"Tallinn deserves honest governing, which we have not had some time," he said. "What are the alternatives being offered? On the one hand, we have businessmen running who want to increase their power in the city in order to advance their business interests, which is a very slippery slope in a democratic society — and on the other hand, we have the Reform Party, whose mayoral candidate [Kristen Michal] is the embodiment of Estonia's political corruption."
Ossinovski also sharply criticized the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE), stating that the party's hostile and anti-European policies need to be blocked at the local, Riigikogu and European Parliament levels alike.
Editor: Aili Vahtla