IRL MP Picked to Chair Election Coalition, Quits Faction ({{commentsTotal}})

The Free Party, led by Andres Herkel, is one of two parties that might just squeak into a Parliament long dominated by four main parties, according to a poll. Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

Veteran IRL politician Andres Herkel has quit the party's faction in Parliament, and plans to leave the party, after being voted in as the chairman of the Free Patriotic Citizen, a election coalition with seats on the Tartu City Council.

“I have spent close to 15 years in Parliament and have had to make a  very difficult decision. I stepped down from IRL's leadership last winter and have since forged ever closer ties with the NGO Free Patriotic Citizen,” Herkel said today, according to

He said that he is seeking more freedom to initiate ideas that he believes are needed.

IRL Chairman Urmas Reinsalu said that if a person has different political ambitions and thoughts, he should, in the name of clarity, pursue those goals.

NGO Free Patriotic Citizen, which won 4 percent of the votes in Tallinn, just short of the threshold for representation, and three seats on the Tartu City Council, elected Herkel as chairman on Saturday.

Herkel said, speaking to ETV on Saturday, that currently they have no plans to turn into a political party, but that they will petition for election coalitions to be allowed to run for Parliament.

Another IRL veteran, Tõnis Lukas, left the party and Parliament in the beginning of the year to head the National Museum, now represents the NGO on the Tartu City Council.

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