Mois keeps on rocking coalition

  • 2001-05-31
  • TBT staff
TALLINN - The pressure on the Tallinn City Council to get rid of Mayor Juri Mois has intensified. The Reform Party, one of the parties in Estonia's ruling coalition, on May 25 filed a no-confidence motion against Mois, to be voted on at a May 31 session of the City Council.

Reform Party members have stated they will join the opposition if the mayor survives the vote. In an official statement on May 29, the party said the motion will be deployed if Mois does not resign before the vote.

This will be the fourth no-confidence motion Mois has faced, but the first to emerge from his coalition partners.

The mayor of Tallinn admitted on May 25 that he was prepared to resign if a credible candidate for the post could be found who would get the support of 33 of the 64 members on the City Council. At a meeting of coalition members he said he had no intention of sticking to his seat if the coalition managed to agree on a new council, Matti Tarum, chairman of the Pro Patria Union faction in Tallinn City Council, told BNS.

Tarum said Mois did not support a proposal according to which the mayor and City Council Chairman Rein Voog, respectively from the Pro Patria Union and the Reform Party, both resigned in the name of saving the coalition. Mois and Voog have not been on speaking terms for some time.

"Mois said he had nothing to reproach Voog for and could see no reason for his resignation," Tarum said.

Mois said that problems connected with his position as mayor and those within the coalition were two different things and had to be kept strictly apart.

The opposition has already proposed a new unofficial candidate for Mois' position, Tonis Palts, the chairman of the supervisory council of Levicom Broadband telecommunication company.

Edgar Savisaar, leader of the opposition Center Party, said he did not believe a no-confidence vote in Mois would succeed, but also noted that speculations about Mois' possible successor were growing louder in the political corridors of the Tallinn administration.

But many who are keen to get rid of Mois have not heard of Palts as a possible candidate. "Palts' candidacy has never been under discussion in either the Reform Party faction or on the board of the Tallinn chapter," Urmas Paet, leader of the Reform Party in Tallinn, said.

Under a coalition agreement the mayor of the Estonian capital should be picked by neither the Reform Party nor the Center Party but the Pro Patria Union.