Mihkelson: IRL needs leadership change
Marko Mihkelson, an IRL MP since 2003 who is running for a deputy party chief spot at IRL's weekend congress, said the party needs deep internal change.
“Severe failure at the Parliament elections and internal manipulations, which damage trust inside the party, have taken our reputation to dangerous lows,” Mihkelson said in a blog post.
He said there are a number of explanations for this but current party leadership is the main reason. “How can a party plausibly speak about openness, democracy and measures to take Estonia forward, when its own decision-making is often cryptic, people cling to power at all costs and a few individuals believe themselves irreplaceable.”
Mihkelson said IRL is not the only party with such problems and a number of others are also facing internal strife.
IRL is set to elect a new chairman over the weekend after current leader Urmas Reinsalu said he will not run again.
IRL won 14 seats in the March 1 election, collecting 13.7 percent of the vote. In 2011, in the last general election, those figures were 23 and 20.5 percent respectively. IRL has dropped in ratings ever since and is currently polling at 8-10 percent, the lowest since the party formed in 2006.
Margus Tsahkna, 38, is the favorite to replace Reinsalu, running against the much older Jaan Männik.