200 new members join Isamaa before chairman election

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Priit Sibul, chair of Isamaa's Riigikogu grouping. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

192 new members have joined the opposition Isamaa Party before the party's general assembly. The party's chief-secretary Priit Sibul said this is related to the vote for a new chairman.

"As it goes with elections, the candidates are looking for supporters. I dare to say that most of them are people asked to join the party by the candidates," Sibul said.

"This is a regular activity during the campaign, nothing extraordinary," he said.

Sibul said the current situation cannot be compared with the scandal uncovered in April when a member of the party encouraged 400 people to join with a giveaway project.

"I invited some of my old friends and acquaintances to help support the current frontline and for Isamaa to stay at its core ideologies," Sibul said.

Sibul stressed that both Lavly Perling, the party's chairman candidate, and the current chairman of the Isamaa Party Helir-Valdor Seeder have invited people to join the party.

A supporter of Perling, Kristjan Vanaselja leader of the Parempoolsed (right-wingers) faction, said Parempoolsed are focusing on inner-party campaign work.

"Our main worry has been to revive some active members who are already in the party. Our main role is to communicate with them as much as possible, ask for their opinions, meet with them and show them how important the general assembly is," Vanaselja said.

He expressed hope that the motivation of the new members is right when joining the party.

"When people are brought in by groups just to make an impact on the election results and they don't have a stronger interest in the party's ideas, then it's just using people. I sincerely hope the party has learned from the past," Vanaselja said.

The general assembly will take place on June 20 in Tartu and the candidates are Lavly Perling and Helir-Valdor Seeder.

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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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