The council of the opposition Isamaa party evicted four members of its Parempoolsed (Right-wingers) group on Tuesday evening.
Siim Valmar Kiisler, Lavly Perling, Kristjan Vanaselja and Tõnis Martin Kons were excluded from the party's ranks after party chairman Helir-Valdor Seeder received two letters last week that came as a culmination of a series of clashes between Isamaa members.
One letter came from Riina Solman and Tõnis Palts and was aimed against Lavly Perling and Siim Valmar Kiisler, the other from Mart Maastik targeted 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 wrote that if the Parempoolsed do not want to engage in nationalist politics, there are plenty of other political parties in Estonia.
Lavly Perling told ETV news programs "Aktuaalne kaamera" that she will continue in politics.
"What I saw and experienced was a perfect example of why these people (the board of Isamaa – ed.) are not fit to run Estonia. But I will remain in Estonian politics, and we will all continue to pursue patriotic values /.../. I can assure you that we are numerious and will move forward together," Perling said.
Siim Kiisler said that the decision to evict the four Parempoolsed members stems from Seeder's fear of them and that he told Seeder he was dragging Isamaa down.
Kiisler said that the Parempoolsed are bothered by Isamaa's retrospectiveness and convergence with EKRE views.
"For years, Isamaa represented open nationalism and aimed for a quarter of the electorate. But it has become narrower recently, retrospective and lacking ambition," he said.
The politician added that he received a host of letters from Isamaa members promising to follow the four Parempoolsed members already on Tuesday, and that he believes the leavers will be in the hundreds.
Kiisler said that the Parempoolsed group will stay together and continue in Estonian politics, while concrete steps should be decided in the coming days. The group is currently made up of 400 people not all of whom are members of Isamaa.
Isamaa leader Helir-Valdor Seeder said that it is impossible to build a political party inside another one. "A situation where you artificially maintain two different worldviews, attitudes or just two parties next to one another is not really practicable. Therefore, clarity for members and potential voters was needed and is a better alternative. A party needs to be a company of likeminded individuals," Seeder said.
The board of Isamaa also decided to evict Harry Raudvere after he justified Russia's aggression against Ukraine on Nõmme Raadio that he owns.
Editor: Marcus Turovski