IT expert Luukas Kristjan Ilves has joined non-parliamentary party Estonia 200 with the aim of contributing to the development of local and national politics.
Ilves is the head of strategy at cybersecurity company Guardtime, having previously worked in the Estonian Representation to the European Union in Brussels and as vice-president of the Lisbon Council, a Brussels-based think tank. He is also the son of former Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves.
"I think it feels like if I don't do something right now, I have no right to whine in the future. In a year there will be local government elections, in two and a half years there will be Riigikogu elections. If you want to influence which options are offered, it's time to act," Ilves told Eesti Päevaleht (EPL) in an interview published on Saturday.
He said he had submitted his application to join the party on Friday (October 30) and becoming a father 18 months ago had changed his attitude towards the future. Previously he said he has mostly voted for Isamaa.
Ilves said he was impressed with Estonia 200 when the party launched in 2018 and thought it asked the right questions about how to change Estonia now to make the country a better place in the future.
"Standing for clear and unified values policy and setting and furnishing long-term goals are Estonia's 200 strengths. I want to get involved in their development," Ilves said.
He told EPL he is interested in becoming involved in politics in Tallinn as the city has a lot of potential, but it is too early to discuss whether he will stand in next year's local elections.
Chairman of Estonia 200 Kristina Kallas said she was pleased with Ilves' decision to join the party and said Estonia can gain a lot from his international experience in the fields of human rights, cybersecurity and digital.
Editor: Helen Wright