Ranks of Riigikogu independents bolstered


PHOTO: Tairo Lutter

If the Riigikogu only had two independent MPs before the parliament’s summer holiday – former Pro Patria members Margus Tsahkna and Marko Mihkelson – the so-called window seats faction grew to five members after yesterday’s extraordinary sitting.

Former entrepreneurship and information technology minister and SDE member Urve Palo, former Free Party chairman Artur Talvik and former centrist Olga Ivanova will be joining Tsahkna and Mihkelson under the windows.

Palo’s return to the Riigikogu meant that deputy faction chair Liisa Oviir had to leave.

“The social democrats’ faction currently has 14 members,” said new deputy chairman Kalvi Kõva yesterday. He added that the party hopes it can count on the votes of Palo and other independents in the future.

The decision by Artur Talvik, who left the Free Party in the middle of May, to also leave the party’s Riigikogu faction was made during yesterday’s faction meeting. The party now has seven MPs.

“We decided together that it would be honest and fair for me to continue by the window in the new situation. The meeting was amiable, and we left as friends,” Talvik said.

The former Free Party chairman told ERR last week that he is working on a new party for which he sets the ambitious goal of taking 25 seats in the next Riigikogu.

Olga Ivanova, who left the board of the Center Party on Friday, also left the party’s Riigikogu faction yesterday. Her move came as a reaction to developments in Narva. Ivanova feels the party’s board wronged members of the Narva city council by ordering them to resign for the duration of a corruption investigation.

Ivanova said she would vote in line with her conscience in the future.