Political Scientists Weigh In on Herkel's Party
Tallinn University political scientist Tõnis Saarts said there is room for one truly "liberal" party, complementing the Reform Party's national-liberal or even national-conservative profile. But University of Tartu's Rein Toomla said he doubts whether the new party will pass the 2015 parliamentary election threshold.
Saarts told ETV on Sunday that a decision by NGOs Free Patriotic Citizen and a Better Estonia to unite into a political party could backfire if it is turned into a national-conservative political force, which is already represented in Estonia.
“One factor is the names [the party attracts]. If we examine the list of potential heads of the parties [besides Herkel's group, Jaan Männik and Kristiina Ojuland have considered setting up new parties] then truth be told, I see no new, fresh yet familiar face. There are more lesser known politicians or politicians of yesteryear,” Saarts said.
The second problem that could hinder success at Parliamentary elections is financing, Saarts said, adding that the question is about how deep their businessmen backers' pockets are.
Speaking to Delfi on Sunday, Toomla said that Herkel's organization will have to step up, as attracting 1,000 members needed to register a political party will take time, adding that many in the Free Patriotic Citizen Election Coalition are not enthusiastic about entering mainstream politics.
He said that it would be a "great achievement" for the party to pass the 5 percent threshold at the elections next year.