Eesti 200 members still mulling chairman bids

Eesti 200 logo.
Eesti 200 logo. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Several potential candidates for Eesti 200's next chairman were still considering their bids on Tuesday and no one has thrown their hat in the ring yet. The opposition said electing a new leader would not improve the coalition.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Margus Tsahkna, who co-founded Eesti 200, said Lauri Hussar's resignation on Monday was not a complete surprise, but it was still unexpected. The minister said he is seriously considering running to be party leader.

"It is true that I am inevitably the most experienced member of this party, having been in politics for a long time, in parliament and in government," Tsahkna said.

He did not specify who he would like his running mates to be.

"I can't say that, we have very fiery, smart, strong people, like Hendrik Terras, we have experts in their field, Kristina Kallas, Igor Taro, we have very different people, Irja Lutsar, Kadri Tali, Peeter Tali," he told Tuesday's "Aktuaalne kaamera".

Minister of Education Kristina Kallas, also a party co-founder and Eesti 200's first chairman who led the party until October 2022, said she has been offered a lot of support over the last 24 hours. However, she still needs time to seriously consider the proposal.

"It's not about what happened a year ago, it's about the need to very strongly lead the party. A new leader is still expected to have new energy, and the person who takes it on must feel that they have a lot of energy," Kallas said.

Hendrik Johannes Terras, who ran for the position last year before voting for Hussar, said he needs more time to think.

"Looking at the current situation, you have to look at who is the best chairman for the party to operate in this situation. The situation is tense, it needs to be thought through and discussed. You certainly don't make any decisions alone, here you also have to consult your party colleagues and friends, so that's what those choices are," Terras said.

The opposition parties do not think a change of leadership will improve the situation of the Reform/Eesti 200/SDE coalition. 

"The collapse of the government will hopefully take place in the near future, not so much because of the leader of one party or the other, but because of the fact that the coalition is pursuing policies that lack popular support," said Tanel Kiik, leader of the Center Party's Riigikogu faction.

EKRE chair Martin Helme said Hussar has never been the real chair of the party but is more of a figurehead. Hussar's resignation demonstrates the confusion inside Eesti 200.

Eesti 200 will elect a new chairman on November 19 and candidates must submit their applications by November 12.


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Editor: Barbara Oja, Helen Wright

Source: Aktuaalne kaamera

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