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Estonia: New Municipal Governments Form

Tallinn, Estonia; 1 November 1996 (RFE/RL) -- Estonian local councils held their first meetings yesterday to elect mayors and form local governments after the October 20 elections.

In the capital Tallin, the council chose enterpreneur Priit Vilba of the Reform Party as mayor after first having elected him chairman of the municipal council. He was the only candidate for mayor. In a second ballot, the council then chose former Prime Minister Mart Laar as chairman. Laar is a leader of the rightist Pro Patria Union.

The market-oriented Reform Party formed a governing coalition in Tallinn with Pro Patria Union and Moderates (social democrats), even though the coalition lacks a city council majority.

In Tartu, Estonia's second-largest city, Pro Patria Union, Moderates and the Coalition Party-led electoral alliance Tartu 2000 formed a local ruling coalition. The Reform Party held negotiations with both Pro Patria Union and Tartu 2000, but then remained as an opposition party.

Pro Patria Union's candidate Tonis Lukas was elected Tartu mayor. New city council chairman is Vaino Kull from Tartu 2000.