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Talvik joins Free Party, announces chairmanship candidacy

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Free Party MP Artur Talvik.
Free Party MP Artur Talvik. Source: (Siim Lõvi/ERR)

Artur Talvik, who was elected to the Riigikogu as an independent on the Free Party’s list in 2015, has decided to join the party whose parliamentary group he has belonged to for the last two years. The step is widely seen as the first on his way to running for chairman.

Talvik wrote on social media on Wednesday that he was applying for membership in the Free Party “out of his own free will” and following “the wish of the members of the Free Party and those close to the Free Party”.

In his application, Talvik wrote that he had postponed the decision for a long time in the fear that the Free Party might become a political party “in the worst meaning of the word”. Though he still sees the potential for this to happen “if its members find their comfort zone and don’t intervene”, he wanted to speak up.

Talvik also wrote that he differed between two understandings of a party. While the aim of one was to win at any price, the other brought people together that shared similar views.

The language Talvik used in his application fits in with the Free Party’s stance on political and state issues. While nominally a party, the Free Party understands itself to be more of a loose body of independents, which is also why its statutes forbid current chairman Andres Herkel to run for another term.

Free Party accepts application, Talvik candidate for chairmanship

Talvik told ERR on Wednesday that the Free Party’s Harju County section had unanimously accepted his application. “I’m now a member of the Free Party. I joined the party as plenty of people within and close to the Free Party expressed the wish that I run for the party’s chairmanship, and I agree with that,” Talvik said.

He added that if elected chairman, he would want the party to stand for a strong citizens’ society with the spirit of free conservatism. “This would reconcile the ancient Estonian skill to live in tune with nature with the dynamic skill to assimilate the world’s cleverest solutions to improve our living conditions.”

The Free Party had entered politics to go against the established “elite” and “cartel parties”, Talvik said. Today, the situation had changed, the party now needed a particular world view of its own, which had cristallized over the last years. “This needs to be continued and powerfully communicated. The Free Party has a great future,” Talvik said.

Still, the party could not be allowed to grow into a typical powerful party, to which ideas would take second priority, and power would be the most important aim.

Originally an actor, Artur Talvik more recently made headlines with his outspoken approach as chairman of the Riigikogu’s Anti-Corruption Select Committee, among other things in the Ermamaa scandal surrounding a grant the company of former president Toomas Hendrik Ilves received, and the involvement of Reform Party heavyweight Rain Rosimannus in the selling of the government-owned Arsenal plot to a real estate developer.

The Free Party will elect its new chairman on Apr. 23 this year. So far, the only candidate is Jevgeni Krištafovitš. Talvik is widely expected to be a candidate as well.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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