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Helme on failed Center/SDE negotiations: Social Democrats demanded too much

Martin Helme.
Martin Helme. Source: (Siim Lõvi /ERR)

EKRE’s Martin Helme said on Thursday that the Center Party’s decision to go on without a coalition partner in Tallinn with only a one-mandate majority would make work on the council very difficult.

Helme, who was the candidate for mayor in the Oct. 15 elections of the Estonian Conservative People’s Party (EKRE), said that his group would remain solidly in opposition, and that they wouldn’t support the Center Party in individual votes.

“Time will tell, but it’s foreseeable that what will happen is that they’ll buy votes, and generally an endless ‘clusterfuck’,” Helme told ERR on Thursday morning.

The Center Party decided on Wednesday evening not to look for a coalition partner in the capital. The party’s candidate for mayor, Taavi Aas, said that talks with the Social Democrats had never even included substantial issues.

The Center Party holds 40 of 79 council seats. According to information available to ERR, the main obstacle in the talks was that the Social Democrats demanded the position of chairman of the council for themselves, while the Center Party needs to accommodate their new star in Tallinn, Mihhail Kõlvart, who got more than 24,000 votes to his name in the Oct. 15 elections. Kõlvart apparently wants to become chairman of the city council himself.

Helme’s EKRE got six seats on the council. Commenting on whether or not they would support the Center Party in council votes, Helme declined. “We’ll be in opposition, and how they’re getting their votes together isn’t our problem,” Helme said.

About the failed talks with the Social Democrats, Helme said they had asked for too much. Seeing as the Center Party don’t absolutely need a coalition partner, the Social Democrats were in a weak position.

He also added that the Center Party would have a hard time doing things the way they are used to. “With a thin majority on the council they can’t steamroll anyone anymore,” Helme said.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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