IRL: Positioning as Moral Voice Far From Party's Domestic Antics
The party has had its ups and downs and sometimes appears to be cultivating an rightist populism, which contrasts to the senior statesman, above-the-fray image of its current MEP.
Pro-family values, with more children and better schools. An equal footing for Estonian citizens in Europe in all respects. National security and Russia merit prominent mention in the program. Bigger investments into knowledge-based economy, and balanced budget. Fighting against corruption. The #1 goal, however, the party has emphasized, is strengthening Estonia's security in Europe.
IRL received 48,000 votes five years ago, winning one seat safely, which was its top candidate Tunne Kelam. He is with the largest group in the EP, the European People's Party. He is a member of the subcommittee on defense/security and an alternate member of the committee on employment and social policy. A key accomplishment is considered to be the passage of the 2009 resolution condemning the crimes of totalitarianism.
Kelam, who will be 78 this year, is running again.The former re-independence-era leader and deputy speaker of Parliament has never been tainted by a major scandal; within fractious IRL, he is even considered an acceptable option on the farther-right, with Parliament Foreign Affairs committee leader Marko Mihkelson absorbing the fallout for the new Russian-Estonian border treaty (viewed by some as contradicting the previous Tartu treaty, the country's "birth certificate"). On the list of candidates, Kelam is followed by former speaker Ene Ergma, Mihkelson, journalist Anvar Samost and Tallinn city council members Eerik-Niiles Kross and Yoko Alender.