Perling to stay with Isamaa after leadership defeat

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Lavly Perling Source: Aleksander Krjukov/ERR

Lavly Perling who recently ran unsuccessfully for the leadership of opposition Isamaa, has said in an interview with ERR that she will continue with the party, and is planning to run in October's local government elections.

What will happen to Isamaa now Helir-Valdor Seeder is elected back?

I hope that Isamaa will move forward together. I wish Seeder luck and hope that Isamaa will move forward as one. But I also thank the people who were looking for a change and gave their vote for change.

What are your concrete plans?

I have joined Isamaa for its values and also because I believe that Estonia needs a party where modern values and nationalism have merged. I will stay with Isamaa and I will continue providing ideas.

The chair of Eesti 200, Kristina Kallas, invited you to join her party. Wouldn't that be an easier place in which to fulfill your vision?

This is a claim made by you. I have talked to different parties, but my clear message has been that I have made my decision regarding Isamaa. I will stay with Isamaa and am calling people to stay with Isamaa, to keep improving the party.

Do you know whether other members are planning to stay in the party?

Our team is a strong team, one which has contributed to improving the party. Yesterday's result wasn't the end, but the start of something great. It shows that a lot of people are waiting for change.

But when Seeder continues, won't everything move forward in the same way?

The new board will make its decision and set the vision. I'm sure they understand that there are a lot of people in the party who are hoping for a change who are waiting for a strong organization. I think if the current leaders want to be successful, they will make conclusions.

Dealing with the internal contradictions has kept the party from picking up more support and being a strong opposition party. The local government elections are happening soon, so this problem can't be dealt with for long, any more.

Absolutely. The local elections are definitely a challenge for all parties. But now it's important to face the challenge together. Certainly, everyone today is waiting for the messages from the already-elected new leaders in the context of the local elections. And considering that Helir-Valdor Seeder received a strong mandate, I hope that he will realize the obligation to go as a party leader and take responsibility even in the most difficult areas. I hope to see him in the Tallinn elections.

In your speech before the assembly, you said that if you became the leader of the party, you would make Isamaa the largest and most influential opposition force by the end of June. With what tricks did you intend to do with that?

No tricks. Work, content and clear messages are the keywords. The leading force of the opposition means that the people of Estonia would perceive that there is an alternative to today's stagnation government and tumultuous populism, and that is a strong, unique Isamaa. It is the Isamaa Party that offers the content and the message that the Estonian people expect in the opposition. No tricks. You have to talk to people, you have to put content in place and the messages have to be clear. This is definitely an opportunity for today's management as well.

What messages should be sent out in the current situation?

This is now the task of the new leadership because Isamaa must still keep a united line and united messages. I have always tried to stress that the strength of an organization lies in the involvement of its people. When we have the best people in our field, we involve the best in our field in policy-making, we talk, we listen to the members of our party, then our opinion leaders, our alternative, content providers emerge.

What are your plans for the local elections? Are you going to run, and where?

I am a resident of Saue and I am definitely thinking about whether to run and where to run. So far, however, I have focused on yesterday, and based on that, I will now make my next plans.

You haven't had any discussions with the new board on that topic?

No, haven't had any concrete discussions.

What message did Helir-Valdor Seeder send you after the victory, did you speak to each other?

Our communication was exactly as it was in front of the party members and the public. I think that message was a mutual "thank you" for this contest.

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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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