Former minister Urve Palo has announced she will be joining Isamaa, after several years away from politics.
Palo, who won a seat at the 2007, 2011 and 2015 Riigikogu elections, says she has been driven to return to politics over her deep concern about the state of the Estonian economy, and its competitiveness.
Palo said: "Estonia is being managed by a government which is strangling economic life by its actions and by its omissions, while an unprecedented and ill-considered tax rise awaits us."
"This will serve to worsen further the international competitiveness of companies, accelerates inflation and boosts inequality within society. In a situation like this, I feel that I cannot remain a bystander any more."
Palo formerly belong to the Social Democrats and served stints as Minister of Population and Ethnic Affairs (2007-2009) in Andrus Ansip's government, as Minister of Entrepreneurship (2015) under Taavi Rõivas, and as Minister of Entrepreneurship and Information Technology (2016-2018) under Jüri Ratas.
In the intervening time she sat as an MP (government ministers do not sit at the Riigikogu). After stepping down as entrepreneurship minister in July 2018, she announced she would remain as an MP but would not run at the March 2019 election. She also left SDE in 2018 and spent the last few months as an independent MP though generally voted with the SDE parliamentary group.
After leaving politics, she worked in the private sector, as the CEO of Novoloto, a gambling firm, and as a trainer, among other posts.
Editor: Andrew Whyte, Mirjam Mäekivi