Opinion digest: Hannes Rumm on the yet-unseen reconciliation in the Reform Party ({{commentsTotal}})

The events of Friday’s meeting of the Reform Party leadership, in which the new chairman Hanno Pevkur switched out party secretary general Reimo Nebokat and director of the regional development division Kalev Lillo following a 7:6 vote, showed that the the party remained polarized, found Hannes Rumm, one of the hosts of Sunday's Vikerraadio broadcast "Samost ja Rumm."

Rumm said that based on the leadership’s meeting, one could discern three distinct camps: one which supports Pevkur, a second which is against him in any case, no matter what he does, and a third which did not approve of Nebokat and Lillo’s behavior but did not find it reasonable to replace them so soon before local elections

"Clearly the reconciliation which has long been talked about has yet to occur," he claimed. "The party remains strongly polarized."

Rumm also found that Pevkur had yet to achieve firm control over his party, as he had yet to find a new deputy chairman for the party’s parliamentary group.

"As of right now, the Reform Party Parliamentary Group does not have a deputy chairman and Pevkur has been unable to find a new candidate for tomorrow’s parliamentary group meeting either — which is once again a trivial matter from the perspective of the party’s day-to-day activity, but shows that the party chairman is having huge difficulties in starting to lead the party," said the show host.

Co-host Anvar Samost, however, found that Pevkur did the right thing in not losing the initiative he had in being elected chairman of the party and headed into the party leadership addressing the most central issues, which in his view pertained to the party’s central office clearly working in favor of one of the party’s camps.

"He essentially achieved what he wanted to do — the secretary general is being replaced and Lillo, who has acted as an informal secretary general — will likewise be replaced," Samost commented.

Michal weakening Pevkur's position

In Rumm’s opinion, Pevkur’s position as leader of the Reform Party is being weakened by Kristen Michal, who had run against Pevkur for chairman of the party.

"He was clearly bitter at the general assembly already, where he lost, and it seems like within the party he is continuing to follow the principle of, ‘The worse it is for Pevkur, the better it is for me,’" claimed Rumm, who expressed skepticism regarding whether Michal could manage playing the role of Reform’s top pick for Tallinn elections, as Pevkur proposed following his own election as party chairman.

Rumm also noted that when it comes time for the party’s Tallinn division to confirm Michal as their top candidate, a situation may arise in which they say that while Michal was a fine division leader, under the current circumstances a different and trustworthy leader is needed.

Editor: Editor: Aili Vahtla

Kalle Laanet.

Reform's MPs vote to replace Hanno Pevkur with Kalle Laanet

The Reform Party's parliamentary group in the Riigikogu decided on Monday to support Kalle Laanet's candidacy for the position of deputy speaker. This means that the group has turned on party chairman Hanno Pevkur, who will have to make way for Laanet. The decision follows yet another weekend of bickering and conspiracy theories inside Estonia's leading opposition party.

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