Might Savisaar loose grip over Tallinn?

Tuuli Koch
, reporter
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Photo: PP

Weeks ahead will show if maneuvres in Toompea might rob the Centre chairman Edgar Savisaar of his cherished relic – power in Tallinn.

At end of November after Centre conference, Mr Savisaar hoped it would be as it has always been i.e. whoever contended with him would exit the party or get expelled. Not as easy as that, this time around, and Mr Savisaar finds himself in a situation altogether new.

«It was never as critical for him as now, inside the party,» admitted a veteran Centre member and former Camp Savisaar guy.

Increasingly, the party is developing independent thinkers and such as are unafraid of sanctions by chairman. On top of that, new winds are not limited to Centre faction in the parliament – new winds are blowing the Tallinn, long a toy for Mr Savisaar to play with.

Initiated by Constitutional Committee, initial voting just took place over Status of Members of the Riigikogu Act which, if passed, allows members of parliament to also sit at local government councils.

Presently, there’s confusion over whether the Act would enter into force after the local elections of 2017 or – as is the Reform desire – right after  it is passed, proclaimed by President and published in State Gazette. That would change the situation at the 79-member Tallinn city council where Centre has 46 seats.

Then, several Camp Simson and anti-Savisaar people in parliament would additionally enroll in city council to create a new situation altogether. Considering that Tallinn deputy mayors have come under such pressure by Mr Savisaar as to make some say: «We aren’t treated nicely, you know.»

Key figures in the game are Taavi Aas and Mihhail Kõlvart, both also members of Centre Party board. The deputy mayors have grown independent and some, Mr Savisaar having been away for almost a year, have realised the city can be managed differently.

In case of a scenario still seemingly utopian, Savisaar might see even Tallinn slip away. Then, Centre may see a divide even deeper.