Parts: No Sweet Talk
IRL MP Juhan Parts, who has been put forward as the party's top candidate for the 2015 elections, said at a press conference Tuesday that he will not resort to political sweet talk.
Parts, who could receive the party's seal of approval on Sunday, said next year's parliamentary elections are just as important as the elections in 1990.
“If we look at the situation in the world and Estonia's problems, challenges and opportunities, then what motivates me personally to accept this very accountable position is the future of Estonia,” he said.
He said the party program must tackle five questions: the future of a nation-state in the current world. “We must adjust the concept of a nation state to make sure the nation does not die out, but is preserved and develops. That requires changes.”
The second question concerns the welfare and livelihood of people, with Parts saying Estonia can either choose to stay second-best compared to wealthy nations or aim for the top.
Geopolitics is the third topic, with Parts saying the current conflict will last a decade and Estonia must adapt. The fourth question is of the size of the state, saying that the state has grown too large, and Estonia needs a big society with a small state instead.
Parts said the fifth question is how to help those who have not fared well and who have fallen behind.
Reinsalu to remain as chairman
Current IRL Chairman Urmas Reinsalu said the head of the party is not required to lead the party at elections.
Mart Laar, former head of the party, said he has advocated the splitting of the top position of IRL for years.
“I think this is a practical move in many aspects. The prime minister candidate is tasked with elections and the chairman with leading the party,” Laar told Delfi Tuesday.
He said that despite the low ratings (currently at 15 percent, the lowest of any party now in the parliament), IRL has shown it is going for a win next March.
A number of high-profile politicians and public figures have joined IRL in recent months, including former Center Party MP Aivar Riisalu, and ETV television host Maire Aunaste.