Well-respected conductor joins Reformists

  • 2005-08-31
  • By Ksenia Repson
TALLINN - Rotation among political party members has begun in earnest in the gradual run-up to municipal elections, evoking public criticism along the way.

MP Tarmo Leinatamm, who is a well-respected conductor, was berated in the media for migrating from one right-wing party to another - from Res Publica to the Reform Party.

After Leinatamm joined the Reform Party, the ruling coalition gained an advantage in Parliament with 56 votes out of 101 seats in Riigikogu (Estonia's parliament).

Res Publica, which is in the opposition, now only has 27 seats.

Critics jumped on Leinatamm for his easy ascent to the post of chief conductor at Tartu's Vanemuine, thanks to his joining the Reformists.

Leinatamm confirmed that he no longer belonged to Res Publica on Aug. 26. According to Res Publica spokesman Siim Mannik, the MP hoped to take over as chief conductor already in November.

Res Publica has also highlighted the excessive flexibility of Leinatamm's statements. The Reformist once told the daily Postimees that he would not run in municipal elections, but several days later he changed his mind, the Res Publica report stated.

But according to Paevaleht information, Leinatamm will not participate in this fall's elections.

Three years ago, Mannik wrote, Leinatamm left the Reform Party since "his thoughts had not been heard there."

Meanwhile, the conductor said he would continue working - for the sake of his constituency - in the Jogeva and Tartumaa districts, especially in the field of education and culture. He stressed that the post of chief conductor required a corresponding profession and education.