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Opposition planning no confidence motion against Tallinn Mayor Taavi Aas

Tallinn Mayor Taavi Aas.
Tallinn Mayor Taavi Aas. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

The opposition in Tallinn has decided to move against Center Party Mayor Taavi Aas with a vote of no confidence in the city council. The Social Democrats, the Reform Party, the Estonian Conservative People's Party (EKRE) and the Pro Patria and Res Publica Union (IRL) all find that Aas has done too little and is essentially incapable of doing away with corruption in the city's government as well as its companies.

Chairwoman of the council's revision committee, Helve Särgava (SDE), said that individual instances of corruption are no longer the only problem facing the city, but that Aas is essentially incapable of doing anything about it.

"The mayor doesn't want to see that the mentality of 'I do it and I check it myself' is behind the rampant corruption in the city," Särgava said. "The Social Democrats don't see how Taavi Aas can continue as mayor as he keeps hiding his head in the sand."

The leader of the Reform Party's group on the council, Kristen Michal, said that Tallinn has a systemic management problem, and that separate incidents can no longer be untangled. "Mayor Aas has chosen to be part of the problem instead of the solution," Michal said, adding that it is the council members' "duty" to remove him.

Riina Solman, leading IRL's group, said that Tallinn's corruption problem has become a serious obstacle for business in the city. The fact that some things only move when bribes are paid undermines the trust of businesses in the city, and kept investors from coming in. Putting an end to corruption in Tallinn is of decisive importance for the economic development of all of Estonia, Solman said.

EKRE's Urmas Reitelmann said that the Center Party's ten years of unchecked power in the city had put a party food chain in place, and the current mayor had neither the power nor the will to change the situation.

The opposition will submit the motion of no confidence against Aas today Thursday at 4 p.m. The opposition has 38 council mandates against the Center Party's 40. Of the total 79 mandates, one is also held by former long-time Center Party chairman Edgar Savisaar (independent).

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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