Lavly Perling, recently elected chair of the newly former Parempoolsed (Right-wingers) party, told Vikerraadio's "Uudis+" program that her party is very different from Eesti 200, which she suggests has drifted to the left.
"Eesti 200 and Parempoolsed – we are very different," Perling said.
Perling said that Eesti 200's statements do not paint it as a right-wing party.
"Even though Lauri Hussar likes to make fun statements, those coming from Eesti 200 at other times tend to come from the other field. They have gravitated to the left. It leads us to a serious matter. There are parties who want to refer to themselves as right-wing or are right-wing in name, while we concentrate on subject matter, offering right-wing solutions. Those that have brought Estonia success over 30 years.
Perling said that the Parempoolsed were born because the group's members realized the entire Estonian political landscape is leaning left.
"We spend a lot of time talking about benefits and loans but have lost sight of right-wing ideology. We see it as our role to restore that balance. If we think about what being right-wing means, it is human-centered policy where solutions are based on the individual," Perling said.
"If we were to phrase the things we stand for, they are a wealthy Estonia, cool Estonia and demanding Estonia," she added.
Perling said that voters stand to gain from the creation of Parempoolsed. "It is good to know people in Estonia will have more alternatives. Democracy will only gain as a whole," she said.
The new leader also said that all parties need to communicate and work together in tiny Estonia.
Perling: 'During a crisis, one's worldview brings confidence'
Host Mirko Ojakivi also asked how the Parempoolsed, were they in office at the time, would have solved curbing the viral spread during the coronavirus pandemic, ie. whether to close society more or rather less.
Perling answered that: "Worldview questions are very important for a political party, since they bring confidence, to voters, and to the public, and through predictability. If we are talking about there being a crisis, or no crisis - a worldview becomes even more important in the case of a crisis; this is what gives confidence.
"No matter what kind of crisis we're talking about, it is still important for us to have as little bureaucracy as possible; the individual at the center of everything, and minimal state intervention. However, what is a very clear principle of the Parempoolsed world view is that the second balance of freedom is responsibility," she went on.
Perling also said that, both in peaceful times and in times of crisis, the Parempoolsed will still base their decisions on their worldview. "Personal freedoms, the individual him- or herself being the best decision-maker; [on the other hand] universal subsidies are not a good solutions."
"As of today, it makes no sense to talk about whether the Parempoolsed would have shut the country down more, or less [than was the case during the pandemic]. My answer is that the Parempoolsed's solutions would have arisen from their worldview," she added.
No hurry to leave the Nord Pool electricity exchange
Regarding about the current energy crisis, Perling said that decisions should not be made too hastily.
"We very clearly believe in a free market economy, but as far as this particular stock exchange is concerned (the Nord Pool – ed.), it is probably now time to think about whether to make this system as a whole more transparent, more comprehensible, and to look into it to see if there are any manifestations of manipulation or not. This should be dealt with," she said.
"I would not hurry the decision to quit the Nord Pool exchange," she added.
This article was updated to include comments from Lavly Perling on worldview questions and on the Nord Pool exchange.
Editor: Marcus Turovski, Andrew Whyte, Aleksander Krjukov
Source: Interview with Mirko Ojakivi (ERR).