Popular Front leaders back Tanel Kiik for Center chair

Center Party chair candidates Tanel Kiik and Mihhail Kõlvart appeared on ERR's
Center Party chair candidates Tanel Kiik and Mihhail Kõlvart appeared on ERR's "Otse uudistemajast" on Thursday. July 20, 2023. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Leaders of the Popular Front of Estonia movement said on the eve of Estonia's Restoration of Independence Day that they want to see Tanel Kiik elected chairman of the Center Party, which grew out of the movement of the late 80s and early 90s.

The letter backing Kiik for Center leader bears the signatures, among others, of key Popular Front leaders Heinz Valk and Andra Veidemann. The latter points out that the undersigned believe Kiik has demonstrated he wants to stay Center's course of working for the whole of Estonia.

Veidemann told ERR that Kiik served as minister during the coronavirus crisis and that party leaders and prime ministerial candidates benefit from having relevant experience. "Everyone made mistakes [in the crisis]," she added.

Kiik's opposing candidate Mihhail Kõlvart published his list of candidates for Center's board on Wednesday. Vadim Belobrovtsev said that he and Kiik pursue effective cooperation in the Riigikogu.

"I believe he is a shrewd and hardworking politician. I think he has potential. But it also seems that it is too soon for Kiik to become chairman," Kõlvart's supporter said.

Belobrovtsev added that Mihhail Kõlvart can restore Center's recent position and his popularity has been demonstrated at both local and parliamentary elections.

"Mihhail Kõlvart is someone with the skills and experience to build an organization, lead Center forward. I have seen him in action in the city (Kõlvart serves as mayor of Tallinn – ed.) I believe he is a very good candidate for someone who can achieve great things in the party," Belobrovtsev said.

"Perhaps central government-level experience is more important, as is crisis management experience. Perhaps it is also significant that we cannot mention whose votes either candidate is going after," Andra Veidemann remarked.

Both Tanel Kiik and Mihhail Kõlvart are busy touring Center's regional branches to showcase their platforms. The opposition Center Party is set to elect its next chairman in Paide on September 10.

The idea for the Popular Front, officially named Popular Front for the Support of Perestroika, came from Estonian politician Edgar Savisaar in 1988, with the organization established on October 1 that same year at a congress that became the culmination of the first phase of the Singing Revolution. It was to a significant degree the precursor to the current Estonian Center Party, although with a much broader base of popularity at the beginning.


Follow ERR News on Facebook and Twitter and never miss an update!

Editor: Marcus Turovski

Hea lugeja, näeme et kasutate vanemat brauseri versiooni või vähelevinud brauserit.

Parema ja terviklikuma kasutajakogemuse tagamiseks soovitame alla laadida uusim versioon mõnest meie toetatud brauserist: