The opposition Center Party has unveiled its slogan ahead of the March 2023 general election.
The party's battle-cry will be "Julgelt inimeste heaks!" (English: "Bravely for the good of the people"), while party spokesperson Andres Kalvik told ERR that the coalition Reform Party is its clear opponent in the upcoming election and its campaign, both in terms of its worldview and of its manifesto.
The party will start traversing the country in a large campaign bus and will press on with outdoor canvassing marquees, and a membership drive – which has already attracted over 100 new members in the past month, Kalvik added.
The party's leader, Jüri Ratas, who is also Riigikogu speaker, said that: "When Center entered office in 2016, we did not think it was viable to continue fine-tuning, but instead we needed to make necessary, but also bold decisions for the people. Today, these bold decisions are needed even more."
Of concrete decisions, Ratas pointed to exceptional pension hikes, which will lead the average old age pension to rise to €704 per month next year, with the aim of reaching a figure of €1,000 per month, and of the rise in income tax-free allowance from €180 to €500 per month, as well as health care reforms and free public transport in some locations.
Ratas added that the latest disputes with the Reform Party, both on energy price compensation and on family benefits clearly demonstrated that the party is ready to stand up for the people of Estonia, he said.
An impasse on the issue of family benefits was a major factor in the break-up of the Reform-Center coalition in summer, after the prime minister dismissed all seven Center Party ministers.
Center entered office nationally under Ratas as prime minister in November 2016 with Isamaa and SDE, remainiung there with Isamaa and EKRE after the March 2019 general election, and was last in a coalition with Reform, from January 2021 to June 2022, with Kaja Kallas (Reform) as prime minister.
Ratas became Riigikogu speaker after stepping down as prime minister in January 2021.
Ratas has also raised his profile recently by taking part in TV3 show "Tantsud tähtedega" ("Dancing with the stars", modeled on the UK's "Strictly Come Dancing"). His dancing partner, Kristina Tarmet, ran for the Reform Party in Saku Municipality in the October 2021 local elections.
Election day is March 5, 2023.
Editor: Andrew Whyte