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Samost: Kaia Iva’s charisma could help IRL out of long-term low

Minister of Social Protection Kaia Iva (IRL).
Minister of Social Protection Kaia Iva (IRL). Source: (Siim Lõvi/ERR)

In Sunday’s “Samost ja Rumm” radio debate show, editor-in-chief of ERR’s online news, Anvar Samost, and journalist and former politician Hannes Rumm discussed the potential and actual candidates for the chairmanship of the Pro Patria and Res Publica Union (IRL). At the time of the broadcast, Helir-Valdor Seeder had not yet made his intention to run public.

Looking at IRL and its people, Kaia Iva was the only candidate with whom the party could hope to get its ratings out of the doldrums, and mainly because Iva differed from the party’s recent direction. “Thinking about questions of values, Kaia Iva has the potential to broaden the party, and she certainly is a charismatic and shining personality, which would be very hard to say about Helir-Valdor Seeder,” Samost remarked.

In Samost’s opinion, the second candidate for the party’s chairmanship would need to answer questions about his personal position on several matters.

Seeder was known for his emphasis on conservative values also within the party, Samost said, and for example did not agree with the ratification of the Estonian-Russian border treaty. Seeder had also been fiercely opposed to the Registered Partnership Act that allows same-sex couples to get registered.

According to Hannes Rumm, this could make Seeder interesting as a minister, as he would represent a different point of view. “Without any irony, this is a very rare thing in the Estonian government. I certainly like it if someone has very clear principles, and defends them as well,” Rumm said.

At the same time, if Seeder were elected chairman, the question would become who such a value-conservative IRL would be for if the party’s chairman’s convictions were close to those of the Estonian Conservative People’s Party (EKRE).

Seeder enjoyed plenty of support among the remaining active members of IRL, Samost pointed out, which was why Iva needed to be careful in the way she campaigned for the party’s chairmanship. Expressing herself and her more open mindset too keenly could result in a backlash in the party’s internal elections.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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