None of the eight Centre Party members of Narva City Council declared suspects in a corruption investigation last week have vacated their seats on the council, as was demanded by party chairman Jüri Ratas, regional paper Põhjarannik reported on Monday.
The leadership of the Centre Party on 10 August discussed corruption allegations made against members of Narva City Council and decided that the individuals declared suspects in the case must suspend their council membership for the duration of the investigation as well as remove themselves from leading positions in city institutions.
Ratas said in a press release that in accordance with the statutes of the Centre Party, the party leadership decided that members of the party group serving on the city council suspected of violating procedural restrictions or convicted of crimes cannot continue serving as city council members.
As of Monday, however, none of the eight council members in question — Centre Party group chairperson Aleksei Voronov, deputy council chairperson Larissa Olenina and Centre Party group members Ilja Fjodorov, Aleksei Mägi, Tatjana Stolfat, Jelena Pahhomova, Jelizaveta Tsertova and Sergei Lvov — had heeded the party leadership's decision.
Voronov told Põhjarannik that the council members had taken a time-out before making further decisions.
"Nothing will happen until Wednesday," he said. "Then a meeting of the party group will take place and we will make a decision there."
Mägi has previously told the media that the eight council members would take all further steps together.
"There has been no conflict of interest and none of the council members has taken a single penny belonging to the taxpayer," Mägi said, commenting on the allegations against them. "All decisions were made in the interest of the city."
According to prosecutors, members of the Narva City Council did not remove themselves from votes taken over the transfer of assets of the city for free to companies connected to them or financing their companies.
Editor: Aili Vahtla