Businessman Joakim Helenius has left Eesti 200. Helenius, originally from Finland, was a major donor to the party, but had expressed increasing criticism of its direction since it entered office at the national level for the first time, in April.
Helenius' departure is evidenced by the business register, according to which Helenius, who became a member of Estonia 200 on April 11, 2021, left the party on November 20, 2023.
According to the commercial register (äriregister), Helenius left the party today, Monday, November 20.
He had become a member on April 11, 2021, according to the same register.
Ahead of Sunday's election of current Foreign Minister Margus Tsahkna as Eesti 200's new leader, Helenius had charged Tsahkna with bringing the party to crisis point, and called on party members to boycott that election.
Helenius himself has received push-back on some of his criticisms from leading Eesti 200 members, some of whom say his financial proposals – Helenius authored much of the party's pre-election taxation manifesto – cannot be implemented.
The party's chief whip, Liisa-Ly Pakosta, additionally said on Sunday (link in Estonian) that while Helenius has strong economic expertise, he has failed to understand that political position cannot be bought.
According to the database of the Political Parties Financing Surveillance Committee (ERJK) , Helenius has donated a total of €227,000 to Eesti 200.
Helenius ran in the March Riigikogu election and came close to winning a seat after picking up over 2,000 votes.
An investor who spent many years working in the financial sector in London, Helenius, who turns 66 on Friday, had also taken Estonian citizenship.
Editor: Andrew Whyte