Ossinovski decides to run for leader of Social Democrats

Education Minister Jevgeni Ossinovski and wife Source: (Martin Dremljuga/ERR)

Former Minister of Education, now MP Jevgeni Ossinovski has confirmed that he will challenge current Social Democrats leader Sven Mikser in an election on May 30 for head of the party.

Ossinovski made his decision public today, a month after saying that he has no ambition to lead the party, but having since been approached by several local party branches. Many members are rumored to be be unhappy with the current leadership, especially in the light of disappointing election results.

Ossinovski's candidacy was set up by party's Viljandi and Valga county branches. The initial request came from Tapa branch in Lääne-Viru discrict.

In a letter sent to his peers, Ossinovski cited a wish to strenghten the party as his main reason for running for the position.

"It's not so much about whether we are in the government or not, but how to give the party back its confidence," he wrote. "We're not in politics to be popular or secure jobs for our members, but to find solutions to strategic questions the country is faced with, to make sure that Estonia and its society develope and it's a good place to live in - not just for one election cycle, but in twenty, fifty and one hundred years down the line."

Ossinovski also expressed his disappointment with the party failing to deliver the change it called for in Estonian politics. "We can all feel the stagnation and the loss of political boldness that the Reform Party-like governance has resulted in, delaying important decisions for the fear of losing voters and in the interest of small circles," he said.

Ossinovski was the only Social Democrat MP who abstained from voting in favor of the coalition agreement with the Reform Party and IRL. At the same pivotal Parliment session, he also asked Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas uncomfortable questions about former Finance Minister, now Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Kristen Michal.

Editor: M. Oll

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