In Estonian politics, Centre doubtless is a heavyweight. The party most popular, the major force in opposition – on state level. Meanwhile, its current regional elections may prove vital in view of upcoming Presidential elections this August and definitely the local elections in October 2017.
While big names in the party tell us it is united, the public behold a picture somewhat different.
After the last congress last November and his narrow win over opposition, not a step seems to be taken by Edgar Savisaar towards the other camp i.e. whoever supported Kadri Simson. The losers – or traitors as actually seen by Mr Savisaar – deserve no respect whether former supporters or even buddies.
This weekend, the tough infighting continued in Tartu. The conflict of views is not based on programme of the party. It goes deeper.
Like on one bank of the divide, the trend is to support cooperation with United Russia and a distancing from Estonian legal system; accepting as members and even leaders people at odds with the law etc.
As at congress, it now continues in regions. The Tartu tussle was as congress in distorting mirror. Last year, Mr Savisaar and those for him never tired to tell us that in politics, age doesn’t matter much.
With Aadu Must, the long-serving regional head all of a sudden had age working against him: the region was in need of young blood.
Having lost out, the comments by Oudekki Loone were almost a copy-paste from what Kadri Simson said after the congress. The result was tight, now we need to keep on working with the premise that the winner will consider the loser.
Meanwhile, let’s not forget that in Tartu, Centre rules as partner with Reform. A fall on Saturday for Must would have had the Tartu squirrels in a fix – for the very values divide described above –, as replacing Centre in Tartu is no piece of cake considering the composition of council.
On the other hand: without the values divide, political space would allow a total reshuffle of cards in Riigikogu and the current «hesitation coalition» of Reform, IRL and Soc Dems would crumble or quit hesitating.
Cartoon: «Getting old? The Tartu rebels stayed in power...»