EKRE regional coordinator: Party does not choose candidates based on fame

Rudolf Jeeser.
Rudolf Jeeser. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

The Conservative People's Party (EKRE) will not recruit well-known people whose views it cannot be sure of just to get more votes, the party's regional coordinator Rudolf Jeeser told ERR's "Otse uudistemajast" webcast.

"Recruiting people of whom we cannot be sure just to get an additional vote or two is not something our party does," Jeeser said.

He gave the example of the Isamaa party that many members have left since the last Riigikogu elections, including MPs.

"Our party is based on values. We will not go back on that," he continued.

Jeeser also pointed to singer Siiri Sisask who said in September of 2018 that she would be running in EKRE ranks but had to give up on doing so after voicing support for gay marriage.

"Having your own opinion is permitted, but we do not compromise on core values," Jeeser emphasized.

Talking about well-known entries, the EKRE regional coordinator pointed to Varro Vooglaid and Markus Järvi running for EKRE in 2023 which he suggested "caused considerable ripples." "Because we have worked with them often, we know that they are loyal to us," he said. Since both are probably looking at Riigikogu seats, they will surely add to EKRE's influence, Jeeser added.

Explaining the principles based on which EKRE puts together its lists of candidates, Jeeser said that unlike in other parties, EKRE only looks at local members' choices as they know their leaders best.

Asked whether a Reform-EKRE coalition could happen, Jeeser suggested it is impossible with current chairmen. "I believe that as long as the two parties are headed by Martin Helme and Kaja Kallas, this cannot happen," he said, adding that he finds it unlikely Helme would be replaced as EKRE leader in the coming years.

He also explained that his role in EKRE, which lacks a secretary general, is to function as a liaison between branches and the board, monitor new members, make sure meetings are organized properly, create candidate websites during elections etc.

Once head of the EDF Logistics Center, Jeeser started work as EKRE regional coordinator before local elections in September 2020.


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Editor: Mait Ots, Marcus Turovski

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