Kallas Challenges Ansip on Vote Do-Over
Siim Kallas, one of the founders of the Reform Party, has called for redoing an internal party leadership election smeared by voting fraud. The statement came just hours after Prime Minister Andrus Ansip, who heads the party, said he would not run again as party chairman if a new election is called.
"I seriously recommend considering new elections. Before that the voting system must be reviewed and repaired," Kallas, an EU commissioner and honorary chairman of Estonia's ruling party, told uudised.err.ee.
"If new elections are not held, the legitimacy of the party's internal elections will continue to be damaged, as well as other initiatives, including preparations for the approaching municipal elections," Kallas said.
Ansip has said previously that he will not form Estonia's next government after the next parliamentary elections in 2015. He also said May's party congress would be his last run as party chairman. An analyst told ERR that by stressing today that he would not run again in the event of a redo, he signaled that a new election would not be called.
Downhill for Ojuland
Kallas said MEP Kristiina Ojuland - who was thrown out of the Reform Party last week as the key suspect of the vote rigging - will see her influence in the European Parliament decline significantly.
"She has been a leading figure in shaping the European Parliament's policies on Russia, and she has stood out for her role in the Magnitsky affair,” Kallas said.