TALLINN - Mayor Edgar Savisaar's rule came under fire when the Res Publica opposition, bolstered by a series of defections among council members, faction filed a no-confidence motion on Thursday.
The motion was handed in with 16 signatures. At least 32 votes in its favor are needed to topple the mayor, who heads the 63-seat City Council.
The vote is due at the city council's next session one week from now.
Chairman of the Res Publica faction, Kaupo Reede, said the motion was motivated by Savisaar's inability to govern the city in a pragmatic and democratic fashion.
According to the explanatory letter added to the bill, Estonia's city is facing serious financial difficulties, while the municipal coalition's leading party is using the city's agencies and funds for party propaganda
purposes. Also, the opposition finds that the major has been unable to put curbs on corruption and that persons linked with the coalition's senior party are favored in transactions with city property.
The letter lists nearly a dozen accusations against Savisaar, who also heads the Center Party, including wasting of hundreds of millions of kroons of investment funds, consistent destruction of green areas and an inability to restrict the water monopoly's activities.
Chairmen of two right-wing parties, Res Publica and Reform Party, said there was no agreement between the two on the no-confidence vote.
"There is no such agreement," Prime Minister Juhan Parts, head of Res Publica, told the Baltic News Service. "Decisions in the party have to be made at the right level."
Andrus Ansip, deputy chairman of the Reform Party, which is allied with the Centrist Party on the Tallinn City Council and with Res Publica in the federal government, said no agreements had been made on the Savisaar issue on the party level.
He said he found such board-level agreements were ruled out in principle.
"Decisions in municipal issues are made on the chapter level, and the central board has no say in them," he said.
Ansip said that the Reform Party board gave no instructions to regional chapters, as this would rob them of responsibility. But he added that Res Publica was entitled to initiate the no-confidence vote.