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Former Center MPs in no rush to join new parties

Kersti Sarapuu
Kersti Sarapuu Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Two Riigikogu members, Kersti Sarapuu and Enn Eesmaa who resigned from the Central Party last week, are not in a hurry to join new political parties even though they have received offers. Both intend to stay in the parliament.

Last week six MPs left the Center Party and four joined the Social Democrats (SDE).

Long-time MPs Kersti Sarapuu and Enn Eesmaa are the remaining two who are not currently attached to any party.

Sarapuu said she has received offers to join from all the other parties – even EKRE – in the Riigikogu, and Eesmaa all but one.

She said negotiations are ongoing but it may take months to make a new decision.

"At the moment, I'm listening to everyone, what their developments are, where they're going, what their views are on different issues," Sarapuu told ERR.

The MP did not say if she prefers opposition or coalition parties, reiterating her position is not yet fully formed.

Sarapuu was a member of Center for more than 20 years and the party's chairman in Järva County for 22. She said she wanted to discuss her decision with her constituents.

"The views of these people are very important to me. And my friendship has also developed from this work. So we will discuss these issues with our colleagues and then one day we will make a decision, but today I am in no hurry to leave," she said.

The MP rejected accusations that she was waiting for better offers.

Enn Eesmaa. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Eesmaa would not specify which part had not asked him to join and told ERR he needed time to think over his political future.

The MP, who was born in 1946, also referenced his age.

"Considering my age, the prospects to actively continue in politics for many years to come, as well as in the Riigikogu... My opinions and also my chances for the future are a bit different than for example young men like [former Center MP] Tanel Kiik," he said.

"[But] at the moment I am a member of the Riigikogu and I will certainly do my job, health permitting, until the end of this term."

Evaluating Center's future, both Sarapuu and Eesmaa emphasized it largely depends on the actions of Chairman Mihhail Kõlvart. Eesmaa also said it needs to restore the trust of Estonian-speaking voters and curb the statements of some members.

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Editor: Mait Ots, Helen Wright

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