The coalition Eesti 200 party released a statement to say that Arko Okk, who is running against Margus Tsahkna for the position of party chairman, does not represent Eesti 200's program or views. The party's executive manager said that Okk's statements harm Eesti 200 and that some members have called for his eviction.
The statement was sent by Eesti 200 press representative Rauno Veri on Tuesday and is signed by the Eesti 200 board, Riigikogu group and outgoing chairman Lauri Hussar.
Eesti 200 is set to hold its general assembly on November 19 where Minister of Foreign Affairs Margus Tsahkna and party member Arko Okk will be vying for the post of chairman.
Mihkel Veski, executive manager for Eesti 200, told ERR that the candidates will be offered the opportunity to give a speech and members the chance to ask them questions.
Veski added that there have been calls to evict Arko Okk from the party over statements he has made.
Veski said that Okk's statements are harming the party's reputation. "If a member of the party uses their chairman candidate status to disseminate statements that clash with the party's ideological positions, it definitely works to undermine the party's reputation."
Arko Okk has deviated from Estonia's official, as well as Eesti 200's foreign and security policy line in interviews given over the last few days. For example, the chairman candidate believes it necessary to communicate with Russia and that developing military industry in Europe cannot facilitate peace. Okk has also suggested he is against Estonia boosting its defense spending.
Editor: Aleksander Krjukov, Marcus Turovski