Chairman of the opposition Isamaa party Helir-Valdor Seeder on Tuesday said that he will run for party chairman again at Isamaa's June 20 general assembly. Representative of Isamaa's Parempoolsed (Right-wingers) in-house group Lavly Perling has done the same.
Seeder said via a press release that Estonia is facing several challenges that require a strong national conservative Isamaa.
"Experience suggests that fields that are vital for Estonia are placed in jeopardy every time Isamaa is left out of the government. The government today is trying to save money at the expense of national defense and the security of Estonian families. Isamaa must forcefully stand against such dangerous steps," Seeder said.
Seeder emphasized that Isamaa's situation and future cannot be seen purely as a political-technological or PR project. "A party's success and political influence cannot be gauged merely based on its rating. Executing policy in line with one's principles, concrete achievements and steps that help prevent foolish decisions matter. Bold decisions and promoting the Estonian agenda is not always popular, while it needs to be done nonetheless," Seeder emphasized.
The chairman said that Isamaa will have to make dignified nationalism and Estonia's next steps in population and family policy, national defense, economy and the Estonian language and culture the business of the day at its general assembly. "The Estonian state has grown up. It was a long time ago we had a single problem in need of a simple solution. The view to public administration is much more complicated today. Isamaa can offer Estonian voters a sensible big picture."
Lavly Perling told ERR that she will run for Isamaa chairman to continue to represent the Estonian state and people and promote the Estonian agenda.
Perling wrote in a letter to fellow Isamaa members that the upcoming general assembly is a chance for Isamaa to once more become a broad-based party working with the best scientists, experts and specialists in Estonia and capable of delivering an impulse to speed up Estonia's development.
"We have the people, ideas and plan. A change inside Isamaa is not a thing in itself. It is what Estonia needs and the people expect."
Perling said that improving life in Estonia requires difficult decisions that serve Estonia's interests as opposed to personal ones. "Proposing a tax reform, talking about healthcare and education reforms and reshaping the economic environment to ensure Estonia's global competitiveness."
The former prosecutor general said that Isamaa could have three goals starting from June – to become the leading opposition force, ensure it is represented everywhere in Estonia and rise among the three largest parties in time for the 2023 Riigikogu elections. "For this, we need to restart the organization, bring the party out of difficulties and unite as a single organization."
Tõnis Kons, one of the leading figures of the Parempoolsed group, said that Perling's vision has broad support in the party. "It is as if Estonia has moved back five or six years to the period that paved the way for the Conservative People's Party (EKRE) becoming a member of the previous government. Estonia is clearly stagnating in terms of its political culture and initiative. A strong right-wing force sporting a clear vision is needed both by the ruling parties and as a counterweight to EKRE. I believe Lavly Perling will realize that plan," Kons said.
Kons added that the party has fallen short of the expectations of members and voters at elections. "It speaks for itself. This is a time to take a look within and find strength for a fresh start before moving on united."
Editor: Marcus Turovski