Martin Helme returned as EKRE chair

EKRE leader Martin Helme.
EKRE leader Martin Helme. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Martin Helme has been returned as Conservative People's Party Chair (EKRE) as expected, polling the majority of the vote in a two-horse race.

EKRE's congress was held in the southwestern Estonian city of Pärnu, something of a stronghold for the party, with Helme being returned as leader with more than 80 percent of the vote.

Of the 423 who voted, 381 voted for Helme, with a further 42 pledging for a latecomer opponent, MP Peeter Ernits.

In his acceptance speech Helme identified a desire on the part of EKRE's political opponents to sideline, something which he vowed to oppose.

Helme says EKRE is the only political party in Estonia that stands up for the Estonian Constitution, its sovereignty, a nation state and a free country with freedom of speech, of movement and of business activity.

Peeter Ernits only threw his hat in the ring as candidate at the start of the week, claiming the party's organization needed an overhaul, to avoid going down the same route the Center Party had done under Edgar Savisaar.

Helme has been EKRE leader since 2020, preceded by his father, the party's co-founder, Mart Helme.

The latter, along with the party's sole MEP Jaak Madison plus MP and former Riigikogu speaker Henn Põlluaas were returned as vice-chairs

The meeting also voted on its 11-member board, with 34 candidates to choose from.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte, Marko Tooming

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