A group of prominent Centre Party members have announced their decision to leave the party, citing frustration of their attempts to bring openness and transparency into party leadership.
MEPs Siiri Oviir and Vilja Savisaar-Toomast, MPs Inara Luigas, Lembit Kaljuvee, Deniss Boroditsh and Rainer Vakra, Tallinn City Council member Ain Seppik and party board member Toomas Varek signed a joint statement today, explaining their decision to leave the party ranks following the expulsion of MP Kalle Laanet on March 21 for his criticism of the party leadership.
"We decided to leave the Centre Party because we don't believe that we will be able to protect our voters' interests under current leadership. It is obvious that the wish of the party leaders to remain in isolation and to reject all forms of cooperation makes it impossible to attain [the party's] principal goals. Consequently, our remaining in the party would be a betrayal of our promises and voters' expectations," the joint statement read.
Centre Party has seen its ratings drop in the light of recent corruption scandals both on the national level and in its traditional stronghold, Tallinn. In March, 23 percent of voters nationwide backed Centre Party, according to an Emor poll. In the capital, a Faktum & Ariko poll in February placed Centre's support at 25 percent.