MEP Toom calls new meeting of Center Party members who nominated Simson

Edgar Savisaar ja Yana Toom

PHOTO: Arno Saar / Õhtuleht

Member of the European Parliament Yana Toom, one of the most high-profile champions of the reelection of Edgar Savisaar as leader of the Center Party, has called a new meeting of the board of the party's Narva chapter which last week nominated Kadri Simson as its candidate for chairman of the party.

Toom, who supervises the Narva chapter on the Center Party board, has convoked a meeting of the board of the Narva chapter for Friday evening with only one item, "On the nomination of candidates for chairman of the Center Party," on the agenda, the regional newspaper Pohjarannik said.

The MEP told the newspaper her action was prompted by communication with dissatisfied members of the Narva chapter who had learned about the board's decision in the media.  

«A situation where a decision made by the board on behalf of members came as a complete surprise to members of the party needs to be clarified,» she said.

In the editorial column, Pohjarannik editor-in-chief Erik Gamzejev says the fact that the Narva chapter was the first to nominate Simson as candidate should not be considered too much of a surprise or turning one's back on Edgar Savisaar.    

«The leader of the Narva chapter of the Center Party, Andrus Tamm, in his remarks to the newspaper made no secret of it that the initiative for the nomination came from Simson. That the proposal was accepted, however, rather confirms the autonomy of the Narva chapter and its relatively big degree of independence within the party,» the chief editor said, adding that the same holds true for the Center Party chapter in the region's second major city Kohtla-Jarve, which has nominated both Savisaar and Simson to please both sides.

He said the Center Party chapters in both Narva and Kohtla-Jarve are doing well regardless of what the leader of the party or the head office thinks of them, since over two decades or so they have barricaded themselves so deeply in the power structures of the two cities that they can afford such kind obstinacy every now and then.

«Should one be looking for other massages between the lines of the Simson opening by Center Party members in Narva aside from the one about concern for Edgar Savisaar's health, which was said out publicly, it could be a signal first and foremost to the parties in power that this is a company of people who are somewhat different from the Center Party's present main policy line,» Gamzejev said.

«Having experienced political isolation for a long time and knowing how difficult it has been for investments of the state to reach Narva or Kohtla-Jarve, it is the right time now to stand out with a small attempt to set itself apart from the Center Party of Savisaar. Edgar Savisaar and his entourage can keep under their control the power structures of the capital, but not Narva or Kohtla-Jarve. At the same time it isn't possible for them to throw the leaders of these regions overboard for obstinacy, because they are the ones that can see to it that the party polls very well in that region,» Gamzeyev said.