Center Party snub not good for Estonia, says former politician ({{commentsTotal}})

The March 1 Parliament elections were once again characterized by a collective opposition to the Center Party, but a complete boycott of the latter is not in Estonia's interests, says former Center Party and Reform Party member Ignar Fjuk.

He said the disregard for the Center Party began in the 1990s when the party was in power in Tallinn and seven smaller parties, including Pro Patria, now one half of IRL, and Jevgeni Kogan, a pro-Soviet Union activist, joined forces to topple it. According to Fjuk, back then the Center Party could not yet count on the support of Russian-speakers.

Fjuk added that the stronger the anti-Center Party rhetoric becomes, the more its voters flock behind first Edgar Savisaar, and then Yana Toom and Mihhail Kõlvart.

“Does our political elite really want a Russian party? I do not believe it is right to turn a once-strong Estonian party into a Russian party,” Fjuk said.

Fjuk also said that the grassroots movements which popped up after scandals around Reform Party's "dirty money," have led to two new parties clinching seats in the Parliament. Speaking about the Free Party, he said it is up to them to change, or fade into history, as happened with Res Publica after the 2003 elections.

Reform Party, which won the March 1 election, has ruled out any cooperation with the Center Party, which it sees as pro-Kremlin. Other parties were less quick to denounce the Center Party as a possible coalition partner, but all did say they would not work with Center Party Chairman Edgar Savisaar.

Fjuk was a Center Party MP after the 1992 election, but had joined the Reform Party by the 1995 national election. He also gained a seat in the Parliament in the 1999 election.

Editor: J.M. Laats

Siim Kallas.

Interview: Siim Kallas on ambitions, Estonian politics, and EU presidency

Following the local elections in October this year, Reform Party founder, former prime minister, EU commissioner, and presidential candidate Siim Kallas took on the job of municipal mayor of Viimsi, a community on the outskirts of Tallinn. In his interview with ERR's Toomas Sildam, Kallas talks about local government, his party, the EU presidency, and perspectives in Estonian politics.

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