Harju region Social Democrats to present Läänemets as party chair candidate

Lauri Läänemets.
Lauri Läänemets. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

The Social Democratic Party (SDE) Harju County region board decided to present MP Lauri Läänemets as a candidate for the position of party chairman, to be selected at the party's general assembly in February.

SDE Harju region chair Henri Kaselo said SDE has gotten stuck in narrow trenches and has lost power in questions actually important to voters.

"I have no doubt that Lauri [Läänemets] can speak to people in both cities and rural areas regardless of their education, income or sexual orientation. Income and quality of life affects absolutely all people. Incomes require an economy that looks to the future and companies, whose success is ensured by educated, healthy and motivated workers," Kaselo said.

SDE Harju region deputy chair Anneli Pärlin said the most important thing for the party is restore party members' and society's fate in the Social Democrats.

"If we want Estonia to develop into a Nordic country, empty slogans are not enough, we require a clear political direction. We need to offer solutions based on Social Democratic base values, which would deal with the problems of today and tomorrow, such as wage poverty, inequality, but also uneven development in metropolitan and rural areas. The reference point for all solutions is a worker, who brings added value to our economy. The interests and well-being of workers is a matter of our economy's competitiveness," Pärlin said.

Six members of the SDE Harju region board supported the candidacy of Läänemets, two did not vote. The party's general assembly is set to take place on February 5 and the party will elect a new chairman and board.

In addition to Läänemets, former health minister MP Riina Sikkut has also announced her readiness to run for party chair. Social Democrats have also said MEP Marina Kaljurand could take up the position. Kaljurand said she has not intention to run.

Current party chair Indrek Saar announced after the local government elections that he would not continue as chairman, saying that the party's chairman is responsible for election results. The party received more than 60,000 votes and 10.4 percent support in the previous local election cycle, but only 29,000 total votes and 5 percent support this time. 

The Social Democrats were victorious in Hiiu County and the city of Võru and are the smaller part of the Center-SDE coalition in Tallinn city government. Party members were also quite successful in electoral alliances, but the party lost a significant amount of support as a whole.


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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