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Izmailova: Coalition with Center will benefit Greens in Riigikogu elections

Estonian Greens chairwoman Züleyxa Izmailova.
Estonian Greens chairwoman Züleyxa Izmailova. Source: (Anna Aurelia Minev/ERR)

Entering into a coalition with the Center Party in Tallinn will give the Estonian Greens a much better opportunity to introduce their worldviews and activities ahead of the 2019 Riigikogu elections, party chairwoman and possible deputy mayoral Züleyxa Izmailova told ERR in an interview.

Last night came the unexpected announcement that the Center Party will form a coalition in the capital city with the Estonian Greens, who fell below the election threshold. It is understandable why the Center Party made such a decision, but why did the Greens go along with it?

We were made such a proposal. We did not immediately say yes, as we first wanted a very clear understanding of from what position and worldview we can do our part. Our meeting left us with the impression that the Center Party takes the Green Tallinn Project seriously, and that was the deciding factor for us.

Who found whom and when, exactly?

The Center Party invited us. Our position would not have allowed for us to make such a proposal.

Don't you consider it a risk if you become co-responsible for [the construction of] Reidi Road and other such things that you will go against your own worldviews and instead lose supporters?

The Reidi Road issue was very important for us, and we discussed it at length. We understand very well what is going on with it. We added to the coalition agreement that in the case of Reidi Road, environmental protection aspects must be taken more into consideration, for example by leaving old trees untouched. The Center Party was not of the position that everything regarding Reidi Road had been set in stone and nothing could be changed anymore; we can still make our own suggestions there.

It is also important for us that Tallinn makes it onto the list of Pesticide Free Towns, and that vegetable gardens are planted at Tallinn kindergartens. There were more such green things on our part added to the agreement.

On what level was this decision made? On the party level or in a narrower circle?


[We decided] on the council level. The Greens party is small enough that unlike large parties, our party does not include all kinds of subordinate organizations.

Were there any opponents or objections?

Nobody was categorically opposed. There were serious questions regarding certain matters, such as the very same Reidi Road you asked about.

[Center mayoral candidate] Taavi Aas' adviser Priit Simson wrote on social media that it is very likely that the name of the future Greens' deputy mayor begins with the letter Z. Will you become deputy mayor?

That is not certain. The decision will be made by Tallinn city council, who should be confirming the composition of the city government a week from now, on Nov. 9.

How does the Green's entering into a coalition in the capital relate to your plans for the Riigikogu elections?

It is definitely related; we will now have a much better opportunity to introduce and carry out our worldview.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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