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Center Party talking to Social Democrats about Tallinn coalition

The Social Democrats met with the Center Party on Wednesday to discuss a potential coalition in Tallinn.
The Social Democrats met with the Center Party on Wednesday to discuss a potential coalition in Tallinn. Source: (Anna Aurelia Minev/ERR)

Coalition negotiations in the capital were in full swing on Wednesday morning after the Estonian Conservative People’s Party (EKRE) announced despite themselves having met with representatives of the Center Party that a coalition with the winners of Tallinn’s municipal elections on Sunday was out of the question.

Today Wednesday the Center Party are meeting with the Social Democrats. Center, who now hold 40 of 79 seats on the city council, are going through coalition talks mainly because a partner would make them less dependent on the integrity of their own group on the council.

At the same time, negotiations are promising to be difficult because any junior partner wouldn’t be in a position as powerful as they would like to be. Ironically, things would be easier for the Center Party had they only won 39 and not 40 seats, as it would put any potential partner into a more attractive position.

The Social Democratic members of the new city council met on Tuesday evening and were of the opinion that there was no reason not to talk to Center if they were sincere about wanting to develop the city and improve its services.

“This is going to be the kind of first meeting where it’s possible also for our new members to meet the people who have run the city so far,” Social Democrat Rainer Vakra said, adding that they would talk to anyone who sincerely wanted to improve things in the capital.

Both the Reform Party and the Pro Patria and Res Publica Union (IRL) announced on Tuesday that they were not planning to meet with the Center Party to discuss a Tallinn coalition. This is in stark contrast to developments elsewhere in the country, where the two parties have shown that they are perfectly willing to work with the Center Party, for example in the city of Viljandi, where such a coalition managed to overrule the Social Democrats who had actually won the largest number of council seats.

The campaigns of IRL and Reform in Tallinn leading up to last Sunday’s local elections made it apparent that both parties depend on pitting themselves against the Center Party, and continue to operate on this basis to convince voters despite otherwise working with platforms very similar to those of the other parties.

Vakra expressed regret that the two parties apparently hadn’t “got over the situation” of the election campaign. “I’m entirely willing to discuss Tallinn’s future with the Reform Party and IRL as much as with the Center Party,” he said.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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