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Reform Party win in Tartu, Klaas most likely to continue as mayor

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Urmas Klaas.
Urmas Klaas. Source: (Harry Tiits)

The Reform Party won in Tartu with 37.4 percent of the vote, which is enough to get them 20 of Tartu’s 50 council seats and will likely allow them to continue with a single coalition partner. Urmas Klaas (Reform) will most likely continue as mayor.

The Social Democrats came in second with 16.6 percent of the vote, which translates into eight mandates. They’re followed by the Center Party with 13.7 percent and seven mandates. The Estonian Conservative People’s Party (EKRE) entered the city council with 11.4 percent and six mandates. The Pro Patria and Res Publica Union (IRL) got 7.4 percent of the vote and three mandates.

Election coalitions Tartu Heaks and Tartu Eest got 7.2 and 5.4 percent of the vote and thus three and two mandates, respectively. Other parties and lists remained below the 5-percent threshold.

IRL crashes in Tartu as well

IRL lost the most, dropping from 21.08 percent in 2013 to just 7.4 percent in this year’s elections and losing eight mandates. The Center Party also lost two mandates, the Social Democrats lost one. The Reform Party gained five mandates and are the clear winner of the 2017 local election in Tartu.

Urmas Klaas most likely to continue as mayor

Mayor Urmas Klaas (Reform) got 4,801 personal votes, which is the best result in the city in this year’s elections. The Social Democrats’ Marju Lauristin came in second in terms of personal support, getting 1,888 votes. Lauristin, who is one of Estonia’s members of the European Parliament, said during the campaign that if elected she would leave the European Parliament and instead concentrate on her council seat in Tartu.

The biggest surprise of Sunday’s elections in Tartu was the result of EKRE’s leading candidate, Indrek Särg. Särg got 1,602 votes to his name, the third-best result.

Former IRL heavyweight and now prominently a member of the Reform Party, former president of the Riigikogu Ene Ergma, got 1,058 votes, followed by her party fellow and former commander-in-chief of the Estonian Defence Forces Ants Laaneots with 1,242 and the Center Party’s Aadu Must with 1,235 votes.

Coalition talks to start on Monday

Urmas Klaas told ERR’s Vikerraadio that the Reform Party’s outstanding result means that they can now continue with just a single coalition partner. The Reform Party is currently governing Tartu together with the Social Democrats and the Center Party.

The Reform Party’s Tartu section decided on Monday to hold coalition talks with all the other forces on the city council. “The Tartu city council has been characterized by good cooperation. We want to continue in the same spirit also after the elections,” mayor Urmas Klaas said.

Talks are set to begin at 1 p.m. today Monday. The party will first meet with the Social Democrats, followed by the Center Party, EKRE, IRL, and election coalitions Tartu Heaks and Tartu Eest.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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