Former Centre Party member Irina Janovitš has been elected chair of Narva City Council following the evisceration of the party there in the wake of a corruption scandal involving eight Centre Party members.
The council chair position had been vacant since former incumbent Aleksandr Jefimov was removed following convictions in a separate corruption case, and Mr. Jefimov’s replacement was due by Monday, 20 August.
However, Centre Party leader Jüri Ratas had ordered the withdrawal of a further eight Centre Party members from the Narva council following accusations of corruption, something which the members in question initially declined to do, until later acquiescing.
Ms. Janovitš was not one of the accused. However, she, and at least a dozen other Centre members quit the party on Thursday, setting up their own grouping which calls itself ‘Our Home Narva’ (‘Meie Kodu Narva’). Meie Kodu Narva currently comprises 21 members, it is reported, and Ms. Janovitš received 21 votes to the position of chair. Her opponent Jana Kontrasova reportedly received eight votes.