Centre Party split spawns United Narva

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Despite of split in Centre faction in Narva city council yesterday with two thirds thereof forming a new faction named Ühtne Narva (United Narva), the party retains power in the border city. 

Of the 21-member Centre faction in Narva, 15 broke away as announced at yesterday’s city council session by Centre deputy Aleksei Voronov now in charge of the new political grouping. Also defecting were council chairman Tarmo Tammiste and his deputy Aleksandr Jefimov.

As admitted to Postimees in Russian yesterday by Centre faction head at Narva city council Olev Silland, the announcement of the creation of United Narva was for him a total surprise while in total harmony with democratic principles: there is no limit to the amount of factions, and he is not bothered.

Also yesterday, the deputies in the new faction proceeded to file no confidence to Mayor of Narva Eduard East, to be voted at the next session of the council. The deputies cited the mayor having allotted support to exact sciences school at Pushkin Institute and the foundation Narva City Development (Narva Linna Arendus) without permission by the council. Joining the no confidence were some members of the faction Castle (Kindlus) which has earlier been formed also of deputies defecting from Centre faction.  

«Quite likely the no confidence will not happen, however, as no serious damage has been done to the city by Mr East, but still he might do a better job at administrating the city. The session coming in four days will be for him a good push,» said Mr Voronov.

Mr East said this was a bolt from the blue: «I came to the session and only there did I learn about it, there have been no pretensions to me earlier.»

Centre Party Narva region chairman Andrus Tamm sees no problem in the creation of the new faction. «My desire is that we might go on with governing the city,» said Mr Tamm. Also, he said the new fraction must not be read as weakening of Centre power in Narva. «United Narva is a freshly created faction of council members to which belongs bulk of Centre members,» said Mr Tamm.

Commenting on the name of the new faction, he said its similarity to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s party United Russia is a coincidence. «Rather, they had a desire to express a unity of mentality. It is not befitting to draw parallels with Russia no matter it sounds a bit similar. But we are not intending to merge with Russia, we are not intending to be involved in separatism nor hold referendums. We are all Estonian citizens and this is not at all what should be seized upon,» said Mr Tamm.

Narva city council is composed of 31 deputies, 21 of which used to belong to Centre faction. According to its website the faction Castle had six deputies as at yesterday; Soc Dems had three and one deputy was without a faction.

At the local election of 2013, however, 20 made it into the council Centre, and 11 soc dems.