Hanno Pevkur elected new Reform Party chairman (1)
The Reform Party on Saturday elected Hanno Pevkur, deputy chairman of the party and former interior minister, as its new chairman. Former prime minister and chairman Taavi Rõivas had announced that he would step down after he was ousted as prime minister in a no confidence vote in parliament in November last year.
The congress of the largest opposition party elected Pevkur chairman with 1,048 votes, against 635 votes cast for rival candidate Kristen Michal, head of the party’s parliamentary group and former minister of economic affairs and infrastructure.
The number of votes cast online was 1,311, and the number of ballots cast at the congress was 382, of which two were invalid.
Former prime minister and leader of the Reform Party Taavi Rõivas had informed party members in early December that he would resign as chairman of the party at the beginning of the new year.
Rõivas said leading up to Saturday’s election that talks about forming a new coalition had been held in secret already during the presidential election campaign and that the Center Party had approached Reform, but that the party’s leadership had decided against it and eventually placed all its trust in its coalition partners, who had then let Reform down in a rather “nasty” fashion.
Rõivas said after he stepped down as prime minister that at no point had there been negotiations between the Center and the Reform Party about forming a new coalition. On Saturday, Rõivas said that the leadership had decided against such a course because of the Center Party’s “creative” attitude to corruption.
Pevkur, Michal, and Rõivas all reiterated in their speeches on Saturday that the “left turn” under the current government as well as leftist taxation experiments had already created a situation disadvantageous for the Estonian economy. The three all agree that the new government’s course will lastingly influence the Estonian economy for the worse.
The new coalition government of Estonia with the Center Party at the helm was sworn in on Nov. 23, 2016.