In the latest developments in the corruption accusations dogging the Centre Party's Narva branch, big hitter and European parliamentarian Yana Toom also entered the fray by making good on her promise to attempt to persuade the eight suspended members from taking responsibility for their actions, though with little success so far it seems.
The eight Centre Party members, group chair Aleksei Voronov, deputy council chair Larissa Olenina and party members Ilja Fjodorov, Aleksei Mägi, Tatjana Stolfat, Jelena Pahhomova, Jelizaveta Tsertova and Sergei Lvov, were all declared suspects in a corruption case in the week and ordered to vacate their seats on the city council by party leader Jüri Ratas, something which they have reportedly neglected to do so far.
''What is there to say? Emotions were running high at Friday's Centre Party board meeting on Friday, and still are,'' said Ms. Toom to ERR's Russian-language portal.
''People are offended. They say they don't need to prove their innocence and are not going to do anything more on the issue,'' she went on.
Narva also needs a new council head
Ms. Toom also said the candidate earmarked as for new Narva city council chair was not among those listed. She would not name who the actual candidate is, however.
The deadline for appointed a new head of Narva City Council is Monday, 20 August. The previous chair, Aleksandr Jefimov, was finally convicted in a corruption case in late June, a his council member's privileges were automatically withdrawn.
Meanwhile Centre Party Secretary General Mihhail Korb told ERR on Wednesday that if the accused members were not to step down, it could spell major upheaval for the Narva branch of the party.
However, according to Yana Toom it was this announcement by Mr. Korb which was precisely one of the reasons why Centre Party members in Narva disagreed with the removal of the eight accused members.
Prosecutor at the Viru District Prosecutor's Office Olga Dorogan for her part has stated to ERR that it is suspected that the eight members have not withdrawn from voting on issues in the council, including those related to the freezing of assets of companies and related property in Narva city.
Editor: Andrew Whyte