IRL's Regional Leaders Attempt to Patch Party Schism ({{commentsTotal}})

The chairman of the Tartu regional division of IRL drafted a letter urging an end to internal party conflict.
The chairman of the Tartu regional division of IRL drafted a letter urging an end to internal party conflict. Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

Several regional heads of IRL, the coalition partner that has been plagued in recent days by internal conflict and talk of a split, have signed a letter appealing for reconciliation within the party.

The letter, according to Postimees, was an initiative by Tartu regional chairman Peeter Laurson, who succeeded in getting the signatures of 13 of his 19 counterparts throughout the country.

"The letter included an invitation to get together and agree on a truce," said IRL's Pärnu regional leader Annely Akkermann. "It was a request to the party chairman [Mart Laar] to speak to the people in the party and restore peace."

One man whose signature will not be on the letter is the party's chair for Lääne-Viru County, Marko Pomerants. He said he wouldn't take part because, in his opinion, writing letters was useless and that people needed to talk face-to-face to achieve a resolution.

Talk of an IRL split made headlines earlier this month when former education minister Tõnis Lukas commented during a radio interview about the possibility of dissenters forming a new party.

IRL members have said that the group's Res Publica and Pro Patria factions, which were forced together when the parties merged in 2006, continue to be distinct. The more conservative, old-school members of Pro Patria are disgruntled over, as they see it, being relegated to a more minor role.

Members have also complained that internal decision-making is limited to a small inner-circle and that the party lacks a proper office and staff.


Steve Roman

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