A former TV-personality-turned-MP Mihkel Raud has declared his support for former Minister of Education Jevgeni Ossinovski as prospective party leader of the Social Democrats, voicing opinions that the party needs a leader who dares to speak up.
"First and foremost because the Social Democrats today need a leader with 'balls'. Someone who dares to speak up when noone else does. Who cannot easily be bought. Who has the strength to care about Estonia even when it'd be personally more beneficial not to do so," Raud explained his stance via social media. Raud is followed by approximately 30,000 people on Twitter and 22,000 on Facebook, significant numbers by Estonian standards.
Raud added that the party needs a leader who remained a Social Democrat even in situations where pragmatically succumbing to Reform Party ideologies might seem more reasonable.
"Jevgeni is such a man. Having seen him up close for about a year now, I can personally support those claims," he noted.
Raud additionally expressed his support for Ossinovski for displaying a visible desire to lead the party. "I see a statesman in Jevgeni. There aren't many like him in Estonia today."
Nestor in support of Mikser, MEP Lauristin undecided
With Ossinovski announcing his agenda and current party leader Sven Mikser responding earlier this week, various members of the Social Democrats have taken to defending their prospective leader of choice.
Ossinovski has expressed his desire to review the coalition agreement, whilst Mikser stands strongly for retaining the current coalition.
Eiki Nestor, Member of the Board of the Social Democrats and Speaker of the Estonian Parliament, announced his support for current party leader Mikser earlier in the week.
"Only as members of the coalition are we capable of bringing our ideas to life. Any alternatives to the current coalition would be worse in my opinion. It could mean a coalition of the Reform Party and the Center Party, from which the Social Democrats have nothing to gain, or an unlikely snap election. The idea of a coalition government consisting of SDE, IRL and the Center Party is not of this world," Nestor told online portal Delfi.
Also speaking to Delfi on Monday, MEP Marju Lauristin noted that she was as of yet undecided on whether she supports Mikser or Ossinovski as the prospective party leader.
"Both are very good candidates and I'm eager to see their debate at the party's gathering on Saturday, during which they are to introduce their agendas as well as defend them. Both of them are wise and talented politicians with perspective," Lauristin told Delfi.
Editor: A. Kaer