Züleyxa Izmailova quits the Green Party

Züleyxa Izmailova.
Züleyxa Izmailova. Source: Private collection

Former Green Party (Rohelised) leader Züleyxa Izmailova has quit the party she headed up through four elections, ERR reports.

The Greens' deputy leader Johanna Maria Tõugu said a new party board will be elected this coming Saturday. "Then we can give more comment. We will elect a new board, a new council, new leaders," Tõugu said.

Commercial register data reveals that Izmailova left the party, which she had belonged to since 2015, on Thursday, February 10.

Izmailova has made no statement herself, but the party issued its thanks on its official social media page Monday, saying: "Thank you for leading the Greens all these years, Zuzu Izmailova. Good luck with your future endeavors!"

Izmailova stepped down as party leader, a post she had held since March 2017, last November.

The greens polled at 1.6 percent in one party preference survey last month.

Izmailova's leadership of the Greens was book-ended by two local elections, in October 2017 and October 2021, while the party also contested a general election and a European election under her tutelage, both in spring 2019.

The Greens held Riigikogu seats prior to Izmailova's term, during the XI Riigkogu, which sat from 2007-2011 (while Izmailova was a member of the Social Democratic Party (SDE)).

The high point of her Greens' leadership was without doubt the 2017 local election, where the party polled at 2.4 percent in Tallinn and, despite still not winning any council seats in the capital, Izmailova, who picked up 662 votes in the election, became a Tallinn deputy mayor after the party signed an agreement with Center, a post she held from November 2017 to April 2019.

The party failed to pick up any seats in any of the elections, polling at 1.8 percent in the March 2019 Riigikogu election (a minimum of 5 percent of the vote is required to win seats in any elections under Estonia's modified d'Hondt system of proportional representation).

In last October's local elections, the Greens polled at 1.1 percent nationwide, and 2.2 percent in Tallinn.

The party polled too low in the 2019 general election to receive state support, and had to rely on donations and party membership fees alone.

Financial woes caused the party at one point to mull a merger with two other smaller parties, the former Free Party and the former Richness of Life party (in the event, the latter two did merge, to form the TULE party).

Tõugu and Marko Kaasik have expressed an interest in running as leaders, ERR reports.

Izmailova noted on her social media account the day before she left the Greens that she had been surprised over the result of SDE's own leadership run-off the previous Saturday, February 5, but congratulated the winner, Lauri Läänemets, who she said is a former classmate.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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