Centre Party upholds Yana Toom complaint about Mihhail Stalnuhhin
The Centre Party Honor Court, a body dealing with party discipline, has made a decision to act on MP Yana Toom's appeal concerning fellow Centre MP Mihhail Stalnuhhin.
Toom had appealed to the party's code of conduct, and Stalnuhhin's adherence to it, in respect to a dispute surrounding the party's poorer-than-expected performance at the March 3 general election.
Yana Toom, who is also a sitting MEP and is running in the May 26 European elections, won a Riigikogu seat for Centre in any case.
"The court suggested Mr Stalnuhhin read the relevant points of the Centre Party's code of ethics, and to implement them in his activities," Toom told ERR on Tuesday.
Yana Toom had complained to the body on the issue of what she saw as Stalnuhhin's harmful effects on party unity in the eastern city of Narva, and consequently the party's election results in Ida-Viru County, it is reported.
Stalnuhhin, also member of Narva City Council, had himself accused Toom, in an interview given to regional daily Põhjarannik shortly after the election, of damaging both the party's results, and harming Russian-language upper secondary education in the city of Narva.
At the same time, according to ERR Narva correspondent Jüri Nikolajev, Stalnuhhin had urged voters in Narva to vote for him, and not Toom.
Mihhail Stalnuhhin (Centre). Source: Postimees/Scanpix
On the question of whether the Centre Party's Honor Court decision satisfied her, Toom said on Tuesday that it in large part did.
"I didn't make any direct demands, so I have no reason to be dissatisfied," she said, expressing her hopes that Stalnuhhin would follow the court's guidelines, though stating she was not certain that would in fact happen.
Kalle Klandorf, the court's chair, told ERR that it had wrapped up the proceedings regarding Toom's complaint, but that it did not wish to publish its final result.
"The court has sent its proposals to the Centre Party committee," he said.
Centre's weak showing in Ida-Viru County, a traditional party stronghold, at the March general elections, has been cited as a factor in the party's lower-than-predicted overall vote. Centre won 26 seats at the March election, in comparison with Reform's 34.
Centre still ended up in office after striking a deal with the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) and Isamaa. One Centre MP, Raimond Kaljulaid, left the party on the issue of the deal with the far-right EKRE, and is running in the European elections as an independent.
Low voter turnout in general in Ida-Viru County was also a factor harming Centre. Toom received 6,195 votes, around half her tally at the previous general election, compared with Stalnuhhin's 2,653. However, in Narva itself, Stalnuhhin proved the more popular candidate, getting the bulk of his votes — 2,150 in fact — there, compared with Toom's 1,951.
Toom had also already told ERR in March that the standoff between herself and Stalnuhhin could influence the election result.
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Editor: Andrew Whyte