Isamaa's 'Right-wingers' association elect board
The 'right-wingers' association (Parempoolsed) inside the Isamaa Party elected a board on Sunday but said they have no intention to seize power and break up the governing coalition.
Eleven members were elected to the board: Kristjan Vanaselja, Tõnis Kons, Mihkel Kübar, Joakim Helenius, Kaido Kukk, Indrek Luberg, Sigrid Nuutre, Birgit Remiküll, Andero Laur, Priit Värk and Aleksander Oksmann.
Madis Kübar, Aive Kalev and Terje Mitt were elected to the three-member audit committee. The chairman of the management board will be elected by the management board at its first meeting.
A total of 119 members took part in the elections and half of the votes were cast by e-vote. So far, more than 200 members of Isamaa have joined the association.
In the discussions on Sunday, the group criticized the idea of the marriage referendum, the spread of extremist populism and the state borrowing money.
In July, it was announced that more than 100 members of Isamaa party had founded the group with a manifesto titled "The right-wing choice for Estonia" where they promise to stand up for Western values and right-wing opinions but against extremists in Estonian politics.
Members of the association have said they are worried the party is moving to the left and want to attract former supporters back.
The manifesto can be read here.
No plan to seize power and break up the coalition
The group told "Aktuaalne kaamera" (AK) on Sunday they had no plans to seize power in Isamaa and break up the coalition. At the same time, they were critical of many of the coalition's decisions and its behavior.
Tõnis Kons, one of the founders of the association, told AK the group want to have a say in shaping the party's policies.
He said he believes Estonian politics is turning leftwards and that Isamaa needs to engage in debates about the future of the country rather than looking to the past.
Kons said that the party should talk more about economic issues and the future of Estonia. He thinks the party should prepare for the local elections and not change the coalition formation in the Riigikogu.
Isamaa will have internal elections in June 2021 where a chairman will be elected and it will become clear at that time what direction the party will take in the coming years.
The party's popularity rating has declined over the last year since it became a member of the coalition in March 2019.
Seeder: The party is not a dead organization
Isamaa's chairman Helir-Valdor Seeder told AK that in order to better understand the right-wing group he will have to wait for them to make their views known.
Although Seeder has been critical of the process of founding the group, he said the creation of associations and discussions about policy are welcome. He said he is no stranger to the concerns of the group.
"The fact that the party discusses politics and not only politics within the party, but politics in wider-Estonia, what kind of politics should be carried out in Estonia more broadly, and sees a bigger picture and has different associations, shows that the party is not a dead organization," said Seeder.
"In this respect, the Isamaa Party and I have also been critical and have talked about left-wing politics, about extremist populism, and there is a reason to be worried about Europe and Estonia," he added.
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Editor: Helen Wright