The board of Estonia's Center Party on Monday accepted the proposals of the party's local chapters regarding members who ran against the party's own lists in the 2017 local government council elections and expelled 31 such members from the party.
Center Party Secretary General Mihhail Korb said that the party's leadership on Sept. 3 decided that those running against the party cannot remain members thereof, and that local chapters must mak their own decisions about them.
"The party's chapter boards made the relevant decisions and submitted to the board the names of 31 people who, according to the decision of the extended board, should be expelled from the party," Korb said. "In making this decision, the board took into consideration the proposals and wishes of the chapter boards and expelled these people from the party."
On Sept. 3, the extended board of the Center Party issued a statement that in order to implement the party's program and maintain the trust of its voters and fellow party members, those members of the party running against it could not remain members of the Center Party.
The statement noted that while former longtime party chairman Edgar Savisaar himself has always been resolutely opposed to election coalitions and those running against the party, and has strongly criticized such behavior, his services in the building up of the Estonian state as well as the Center Party, as one of its founding members, will be honored and his remaining in the party is understandable.
Prime Minister and Center Party chairman Jüri Ratas confirmed to ETV news broadcast "Aktuaalne kaamera" at the time that an exception had indeed been made for Savisaar. "He was a founding member of the party, and was its longtime chairman — he will not be kicked out by the party," he confirmed.
Savisaar, who ran in the Oct. 15 local elections as a member of the Savisaar Election Coalition and Active Tallinn, in which he was elected to Tallinn City Council with a personal mandate. He was the only member of an election coalition in the capital city to be elected.
Editor: Aili Vahtla
Source: BNS, ERR