Center Party Chairman Edgar Savisaar said President Toomas Hendrik Ilves misunderstood him when he said the Center Party statute changes will untie the party from Estonia's legal system.
He said Ilves's words are inexcusable, but understandable. “One must understand why all of a sudden, understanding of the Estonian language is too hard of a task for many media outlets – Simson's loss and Savisaar's victory at the party internal leadership elections was a moral shock which cannot be compensated in any other way,” he told Eesti Päevaleht in an opinion piece.
Savisaar said he meant the party was tied to the legal system, as opposed to the party belonging to the legal system. He said the move to cut a clause in the party rules, which ejected party members automatically in case of a guilty criminal verdict in a court of law, was a civilized protest against Estonian authorities.
The party eliminated the rule at its congress on November 29. Ilves said a day later that Savisaar wants to turn Estonia in to an Oblast, a Russian administrative unit.
Of the six Parliament parties, now only EKRE retains such a clause.
Savisaar said the legal system is used against opposition forces with maximum harshness, while the prime minister's party enjoys full immunity.
“This type of system does not have a place in Europe, nor even in an Oblast,” Savisaar said, adding that no ISS (Internal Security Service) officials searched the offices of Reform Party heavyweights after they were involved in criminal cases. Savisaar's own home was recently searched and he has been named a suspect in a bribery case.
Editor: J.M. Laats