Karilaid: Replace Savisaar and make him honorary chairman
Deputy chairman of the Center Party Jaanus Karilaid said on Monday that Edgar Savisaar and Jüri Ratas might come to an agreement that would make the latter chairman of the party, while Savisaar would stay on as its honorary chairman.
Karilaid assumes that the party will elect a new leadership and chairman at its extraordinary congress set for Nov. 5 in Paide. As a result, he hopes that the party can reunite.
Talking on ETV’s “Ringvaade” on Monday, Karilaid added that currently the position of chairman came with too many responsibilities, and that the leadership needed to be given more power at the expense of the position at the very top.
Karilaid also commented on how far the leadership was prepared to go in the defense of its chairman. “I understand that the Internal Security Service as well as the state prosecutor have hurt the chairman, but this has led to the party chairman’s belief that everybody is an ISS agent, and this paranoia has gone too far,” Karilaid said.
“The Center Party will defend its chairman against a political trial, but we can’t go along with this paranoia and accept that every other member is supposedly an ISS agent,” Karilaid said, adding that he still considered himself a Savisaar supporter, but in a different role. A result of getting over the current leadership crisis could be Ratas rising to the position of chairman, Karilaid said.
Karilaid’s statements can be seen as further evidence that Savisaar and his confidants are losing grip in favor of a more progressive and cooperation-oriented younger generation of politicians.
The party’s leadership previously decided to dismiss secretary general Oudekki Loone, after Loone had made contradictory statements in the affair around a letter of guarantee issued to the business of the party’s advertising partner, Paavo Pettai.