Joakim Helenius, a Finnish-born entrepreneur and long-term resident of Estonia, has joined the "Right-wingers" (Parempoolsed), a conservative association created within the coalition Isamaa party, with the intention of also joining the party itself.
Helenius told daily Postimees (link in Estonian): "I seriously fear that the closed nation state principle Isamaa bears and that EKRE is pressuring with its powerful, yet simple, propaganda, will take [Isamaa] and the whole country down."
He added both Isamaa and Estonia need to change, and joined the "Right-wingers" because he sees it as a way to contribute to policy creation.
Helenius added he is researching for a way to acquire Estonian citizenship, and is willing to renounce his current Finnish citizenship to do so. "My home is in Estonia, my wife and kids are Estonian and I feel like an Estonian."
Who are the "Right-wingers"?
111 members of the coalition Isamaa party founded a union called "Parempoolsed" (Right-wingers) with a manifesto entitled: "The right-wing choice for Estonia", where they promise to walk the putative line between standing up for "western" values and right-wing opinions alike, but against extremists, in Estonian politics.
The manifesto has been signed by 111 people and the full list and text of the manifesto in Estonian can be read here.
The activity of the union is coordinated by seven people including the member of Riigikogu Siim Kiisler, member of the Tallinn city council Kaido Kukk and others, Tõnis Kons previously turned the political union Res Publica into a party which later joined with Isamaa.
Party leader Helir-Valdor Seeder, who initially said he was indirectly behind the creation of the association, told ERR on August 7 that the association was instead created behind his back.
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste