Isamaa mulling evicting leaders of in-house group Parempoolsed

Isamaa's Parempoolsed (Right-wingers) association elects board.
Isamaa's Parempoolsed (Right-wingers) association elects board. Source: Anna-Aurelia Minev/ERR

The managing council of the opposition Isamaa party is set to convene on Tuesday evening to discuss two addresses that criticize the leaders of the in-house Parempoolsed (Right-wingers) group and could culminate in the eviction of several politicians from the party.

ERR has at its disposal two addresses sent to Isamaa chairman Helir-Valdor Seeder.

One letter is from Isamaa members Riina Solman and Tõnis Palts and aimed against Lavly Perling and Siim Valmar Kiisler, the other from Mart Maastik targets Tõnis Martin Kons, Siim Valmar Kiisler and Kristjan Vanaselja.

Perling, Kiisler, Kons and Vanaselja are all leading figures of the more liberal Parempoolsed group inside Isamaa that has publicly set itself in contrast with Seeder's line and politics.

Solman and Palts claim that Perling and Kiisler "have set about accusing members of the party of things that never happened, using harebrained fabricated phrases that they are spreading in their media channels and lists."

Maastik writes that if the Parempoolsed do not want to engage in nationalist politics, there are plenty of other political parties in Estonia, stopping just short of proposing their eviction.

Secretary general: A solution will be found

Isamaa secretary general Priit Sibul said that the row is directly interfering with preparations for upcoming Riigikogu elections.

"The party has been embroiled in these internal conflicts for a very long time now, and it cannot continue in this manner. A solution will be found today," Sibul said.

Asked whether that means evicting Parempoolsed members, Sibul said it is best not to get ahead of events and that this will depend on the party's members and decisions. "But there are not too many options," Sibul said.

"While in-house deliberations are very welcome, it is insensible and unjustified to constantly publicly criticize the party's position. This struggle of ideas and viewpoints needs to happen before decisions are made. Publicly criticizing decisions not to one's liking after they are made is hardly constructive and works to harm the party," Sibul said.

Parempoolsed: Timing wrong for hashing out in-house row

Parempoolsed leading figure Kristjan Vanaselja described the timing of getting into the disagreements as inopportune.

"It comes off completely senseless, especially in light of what is happening in the world and Ukraine today. We should dedicate the entire meeting to our contribution and policy in the current situation. But as these topics have been put on the agenda, they will have to be discussed, and if members have questions, we will need to provide answers," Vanaselja said.

He admitted that criticism from Parempoolsed members has been sharp at times.

"I'm not saying we haven't been critical, sure we have. We have been critical of the way the party is run, topics it mostly wants to concentrate on. We have been critical of the fact that the party has drifted away from the principles and views it has been standing for over the last three decades. We are no longer the leaders on the political landscape when it comes to education or security, not to mention the economy. Our desire has been to steer the party back toward those topics," Vanaselja explained.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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