With 40 of 79 mandates, the Center Party’s majority on the Tallinn city council isn’t particularly solid, which is why they might look for a coalition partner. In terms of ideology and policy, Center is closest to the Social Democrats, but might find it difficult to convince them.
What makes a coalition attractive to a junior partner is that the senior party to the deal will need their votes in parliament to push its policies through. This isn’t the situation after the elections, with Center already looking at a majority.
The problem of the Center Party is that at 40 of 79 council seats, all it takes is one dissenter to completely paralyze it, which is why they might be looking for a coalition partner.
Whoever will join them has the problem that they are not really needed, provided the senior partner can whip its council members and get them to toe the line before a vote. This means that the usual appeal to the junior partner to join the coalition, namely the power to threaten to leave and thus the weight to influence policy, is missing this time.
According to the editor-in-chief of ERR’s news media, Anvar Samost, prime minister and Center Party chairman Jüri Ratas would do well to treat this like an ordinary coalition and get another party on board in Tallinn as well. This, says Samost, would relieve the pressure on his party and also provide an opportunity to get over its legacy of corruption and fixed deals in Tallinn.
Whether or not the Social Democrats would agree to join the Center Party is all but clear, as they have made that experience before and weren’t successful. The center-right and conservative parties, Reform, IRL, and EKRE, have already excluded the possibility of a coalition with the Center Party.
Editor: Dario Cavegn