Maardu mayor passes Riigikogu seat on to Baruto

Kaido Höövelson (Centre), also known as Baruto (
Kaido Höövelson (Centre), also known as Baruto ( Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

Maardu Mayor Vladimir Arhipov (Centre), who was elected to the Riigikogu on Sunday, has opted to decline his seat in favour of continuing on as mayor. His alternate is Kaido Höövelson, known popularly as Baruto, who has given his consent to serve as MP.

"Yes, I will not be joining the Riigikogu," Mr Arhipov told ERR on Tuesday, explaining that he liked his current job and wants to realise plans already made with his team in Maardu.

"We need to finish building a health centre and municipal building," the mayor said. "When these things have been completed, then I can think about the Riigikogu."

He noted that he would not be retaining a position as alternate member, adding that he would see how things stand in four years' time.

Mr Höövelson told ERR that he received fewer votes than he had hoped, but he was prepared to begin work as an MP.

"For 14 years I have worked in Estonia's interests both as an athlete and a businessman," said the former sumo wrestler.

He added that as MP, one issue he planned to work on was promoting economic relations between Estonia and Japan.

Mr Arhipov ran for election in Harju and Rapla Counties and earned 944 votes. Mr Höövelson earned 642 votes in the same electoral district.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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