Mihhail Kõlvart (Centre), who appears likely to replace MP Taavi Aas as mayor of Tallinn, said on ETV morning programme Terevisioon on Friday morning that although he was initially against it, he would be voting in favour of the coalition agreement with the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) and Isamaa.
"It would be honest of me to vote in favour of it, as I have participated in the negotiations, and it seems as though the Centre Party has achieved what it wanted as well as protected the interests of its voters," Mr Kõlvart said.
The councils of Centre, EKRE and Isamaa will be convening to confirm the coalition agreement on Saturday. Mr Kõlvart is not interested in dividing the Centre Party, he noted, adding that he would support the agreement out of a sense of duty before the party.
Cooperation with EKRE is not easy emotionally, Mr Kõlvart admitted, but he understood why the Centre Party made this choice. "It is only in a coalition that [the party] can defend its positions and implement its views," he explained. "It is a lot more complicated to do so in the opposition."
The Tallinn City Council chairman said that he could've taken up his elected seat in the Riigikogu, which was earned by personal mandate, as well as accepted an offer for a minister position, but he felt that it was right to remain leading Estonia's capital city instead. "It wouldn't have been right for me to be part of a coalition that I did not support," he added.
Mr Kõlvart ran for election to the Riigikogu in the Central Tallinn-Lasnamäe-Pirita electoral district. He earned 17,075 votes, a personal result second only to Reform Party chairwoman Kaja Kallas.
Editor: Aili Vahtla