Isamaa head: We wanted to bring new people into politics and the party

Helir-Valdor Seeder.
Helir-Valdor Seeder. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Chairman of the coalition Isamaa party Helir-Valdor Seeder told "Aktuaalne kaamera" evening news that the party's goal was to introduce political newcomers as ministers.

You have introduced in the new government little-known and somewhat surprising names – a sign that you had trouble finding suitable candidates.

No, on the contrary. We wanted to bring new people with new ideas into politics and the party. There was no need to do it, we just wanted to.

You mean to say that Lea Danilson-Järg and Kristjan Järvan were your first choices? You learned that the justice and enterprise portfolios (respectively) would be coming your way and immediately thought of them?

Yes, they were my first choices because we have plenty of people who could curate these fields. We have held the justice portfolio on numerous occasions. Various people have held the post in the past and Isamaa members include enough legal experts.

And yet, you introduce someone with no legal background to what is rather a specific field. Lea Danilson-Järg is a Postimees columnist. What makes you think she can do the job?

Lea Danilson-Järg's personal traits tell me she will do brilliantly, I have no doubt. The current justice minister also lacks a legal education. Danilson-Järg has graduated from the Tallinn University of Technology where she studied public administration, whereas concrete legal advice is always available at the Ministry of Justice.

Both myself and Isamaa have excellent experience working with Lea Danilson-Järg. She has advised us on family policy, demographics, the pension reform etc.

Therefore, I am certain she is someone with great credentials and personal characteristics for politics.

It is said that learning to be minister takes an experienced politician six months. You have extensive experience as minister, while this cabinet's members will take office for a period of just eight months.

They are ready. Both of them – Kristjan Järvan and Lea Danilson-Järg – have broad horizons, have kept an eye on social processes and published their thoughts as opinion leaders in the media and press. Not everyone has to be a minister or MP in politics.

They are very little-known opinion leaders, it seems to me. Please introduce Kristjan Järvan as entrepreneurship minister. All we know is that he is an opponent of the second pension pillar and that he has tried to put wealthy men in touch with less fortunate women who want kids. Not exactly a brilliant career.

Let us be positive. He is not an opponent of the second pillar but a proponent of the pension reform that gave people freedom to govern their own finances. Indeed, Kristjan Järvan was one of the leaders there. He has law and economics degrees from the University of Tartu and is very capable when it comes to finances and the economy. He is an entrepreneur and knows the IT world – just the person for the job.

We are often criticized for picking politicians over specialists. Now, we have someone who has trained as a specialist in the field. So, I believe Järvan is a perfect fit.

Are you prepared to make changes should time prove you wrong and the people you're bringing to the government prove incapable?

I am convinced there is no need, while ministerial replacements are of course possible.

Who will become the Isamaa whip in the Riigikogu after you become vice speaker?

It will be decided between Isamaa MPs tomorrow or next week. We have not made that call yet.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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