MP and former Centre member Raimond Kaljulaid city council seat restored

Raimond Kaljulaid, formerly of the Centre Party.
Raimond Kaljulaid, formerly of the Centre Party. Source: Aleksander Krjukov/ERR

Raimond Kaljulaid, the former Centre MP who quit the party on Friday, has had his position on the Tallinn city government restored, it is reported, as has former mayor Taavi Aas. However, the latter has opted to take up a seat at the Riigikogu and has stood down as mayor; Mr Kaljulaid leaving Centre also upsets the power balance on the city government.

The move comes as part of a reshuffle between Centre city councillors and those elected to the Riigikogu, who are often one and the same, with some leaving the council to sit in parliament, and others travelling in the opposite direction (since candidates cannot sit on both bodies). Former deputy mayor Tõnis Mölder has also had his position on the council restored, it is reported.

Centre is particularly affected by the developments since it is the largest party in the city government, and the second largest in terms of seats at the Riigikogu (25 following Mr Kaljulaid's departure).

''A statement was made only yesterday concerning the restoration of my position on the city government, so I have not decided yet with whom I will be cooperating on this,'' Mr Kaljulaid told ERR's Russian online news on Tuesday.

Mr Kaljulaid quit the Centre Party on Friday on the issue of the coalition agreement with the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE), after being elected to the Riigikogu at the 3 March general election.

Raimond Kaljulaid's position is particularly significant because Centre hitherto had a majority on the city council, with 40 seats out of 79. However, if he remains out of Centre's orbit, it no longer has a majority.

A new mayor of Tallinn will be elected next week, after Taavi Aas (Centre) left the role to take up the Riigikogu seat he was elected to.

Centre's musical chairs

Mihhail Kõlvart is Centre candidate to replace Mr Aas, but Mr Kaljulaid says he is still not in a position to say whether he would support him.

''First off, I would like to discuss this issue personally with Mihhail,'' Mr Kaljulaid said.

''The last time I communicated with him was about two weeks ago, when he was not yet mayoral candidate and I was still in the Centre Party," he continued.

The musical chairs involved in the process means Mr Kaljulaid's replacement on the city council, Anna Krõlova, has had to step down, and Miroslav Berezovski has had to do the same for Mr Mölder, it is reported. Conversely, Igor Kravechenko took Taavi Aas' vacated spot on the council.

Another move saw Marek Jürgenson, a former Haabersti city elder, return to the city council, with Inga Rumjantseva having to make way for him.

Additionally, Maria Jurvejeva-Skuratovski, a former elder of Lasnamäe district who was elected to the Riigikogu, has extended the suspension of her mandate to the city council until 31 August. Viktor Vasilyev, on the other hand, also elected to the Riigikogu, has left the city council to take up the post.

Editor: Andrew Whyte

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