HELSINKI (AP) — Estonia's ruling Center Party has won Sunday's local election in a key litmus test for Prime Minister Juri Ratas, who has seen his party split into two rivaling factions since he took up the job less than a year ago.

Ratas on Monday declared victory for his centrist party that took 27.3 percent of all votes cast in 79 local councils across the nation, beating independent candidates and coalitions that came second with 26.8 percent of votes.

The center-right Reform Party came third with 19.5 percent of votes.

Center narrowly maintained majority at the Tallinn city council, meaning it will keep the coveted mayor's post it has held in Estonia's capital continuously since 2005.

Center leads a three-party coalition government and is particularly popular with Estonia's sizable ethnic-Russian minority.