Tallinn University political scientist Tõnis Saarts said IRL chairman Urmas Reinsalu's idea to make Juhan Parts the front man for the parliamentary elections next year is less risky considering the alternatives.
Saarts told uudised.err.ee today that Reinsalu has a task of stabilizing the party and strengthening its position on the Estonian political landscape, which he has succeeded in as the party was suffering from an internal crisis when he took over from Mart Laar at the beginning of 2012.
Parts is likely to receive the support of IRL members as he is more neutral than Jaak Aaviksoo and Eerik-Niiles Kross, the other IRL heavy-weights named in the media as possible candidates, Saarts said.
He said Parts is the only politician in IRL's leadership with the experience of leading a government and is fairly clean as a politician in terms of scandals.
Parts More Colorful Than Reinsalu
Center Party MP Kadri Simson told Postimees Parts is more colorful but has made more mistakes than Reinsalu, under who's leadership the party rating has dropped.
She said the Social Democrats and the Reform Party have recently made similar moves, replacing the top man, with both parties increasing their ratings as a result.
“Will IRL reap the same rewards with Juhan Parts? Probably not as Parts has been the face of IRL in government seven years, as the economic minister.
IRL Chairman Reinsalu said today, in a letter to party members, that he backs Parts to run as the party's top candidate at the March 1 parliamentary elections.
When Reinsalu took over from Laar as the party head, IRL's rating was 13 percent, which increased to a high of 22 percent at the end of 2013, but has now dropped down to 15 percent as the least popular political party in Parliament.