Why should the Center Party worry about EKRE? Yes, they have temporarily become the second most popular party, with their vertigo now obvious. But their statements will culminate in a painful hangover. The Center Party will not allow them to spin lies of a police state, coercive treatment and the dangers of the European Union, Jaanus Karilaid writes.
The press has lately styled various parties as having been around the longest in Estonian politics. I believe that the title belongs to the Center Party that was founded in 1991 – the most experienced and strongest party that has remained wonderfully undeterred despite difficult times.
I know of a gathering from years ago at which three leading figures of the Isamaa party as it was back then agreed to try and destroy the Center Party. They did not manage to keep the plan secret for long, not to mention seeing it to fruition. They were not strong enough to squeeze the life from Center despite having a lot of allies in what was close political competition. The Center Party continues to live its admittedly colorful and tempestuous but successful life with support from the Estonian people.
EKRE has now decided to follow past example and try its hand at destroying the Center Party. They made a feeble attempt last week to defend a bill that prescribed the compulsory dissolution of the party because of past criminal punishments. For example, that of Priit Toobal.
This attempt is doomed to fail! Similarly to EKRE's fundamentally flawed plan of taking Estonia out of the European Union. I cannot help to be reminded of Eesti Päevaleht's words (link in Estonian): "The Conservative People's Party has a total of 264 criminals. Half of them have committed a severe offense. Wife beaters, pedophiles etc." What is one Priit Toobal compared to this gang of miscreants?
Local government council elections will be held on October 17. It is clear that everyone is looking for ways to stand out and find votes, with EKRE making the noisiest effort and the most desperate. They seem to have been stung by a bee in the opposition after spending two years ruling with Center. They are thrashing around as if in a fit of fever. Should we have them checked for viruses?
On the other hand, why should Center be concerned with EKRE? Yes, they have temporarily become the second most popular party, with their vertigo now obvious. But their statements will culminate in a painful hangover. One does not count one's chickens before fall. But the Center Party will not allow them to capsize the ship of state. Will not allow them to spin lies of a police state, coercive treatment and the dangers of the European Union.
No doors will be broken down, no children will be taken away. On the contrary, we will defend people's homes and children, with the health of citizens being the number one concern in the pandemic. The supplementary state budget was needed to protect jobs and public health. We are about to gradually reopen society. Confused, EKRE have failed in their attempt at disruption – to add to social tensions in the name of their rating.
Party skirmishes cannot take precedence over social coherence. That is why they want rid of the Center Party. But this campaign will fail just as attempts by other parties have in the past. And where do these others find themselves today?
In the midst of all its problems, Center has only grown stronger and will continue to grow stronger. EKRE will break like water on rocks, and soon, no one will understand them. We are capable of working with all Estonian parties that really want to take life forward. It seems that some do not. Noted.
Editor: Marcus Turovski