Kallas: Center Party's future dependent on Simson, Toom relations
Reform Party founding member, former PM and European Commissioner Siim Kallas said the future of the Center Party depends largely on how two of its leading members, Kadri Simson and Yana Toom, get on.
In an interview with local weekly Harju Elu, Kallas said much, including Estonian politics on the whole, will depend on the future leaders of the Center Party, the biggest party in Estonia by membership.
Kallas said bridges between potential future heads and the electorate should not be burned as they are hard to reconstruct, and people should begin to prepare for a future without Edgar Savisaar now.
“He is a type of man who is very convincing for some Estonians and an absolute trademark for Russians,” Kallas said, adding that a Jüri Ratas or Simson-led election campaign would not have pushed the party to the top in the recent election. The Center Party came second to the Reform Party, winning three fewer seats in the Parliament.
Simson and Ratas led a drive in autumn to have Simson lead the party at the national elections. Savisaar and the rest of the party leadership rejected the idea and Savisaar went on to collect a personal best of over 25,000 votes.
Commenting on IRL's weak election results, Kallas said they went with the wrong message. He said IRL attempted to pass the Reform Party from the left of the political spectrum, but that space was already occupied by the Social Democrats and the Center Party.