Talvik elected chairman of Free Party

Artur Talvik was elected chairman of the Free Party at the party's general meeting on Sunday. April 23, 2017.
Artur Talvik was elected chairman of the Free Party at the party's general meeting on Sunday. April 23, 2017. Source: (Susann Kivi/ERR)

The Free Party convened at the Estonian National Museum (ERM) in Tartu on Sunday, electing sole candidate Artur Talvik chairman of the party.

Talvik joined the Free Party in March of this year; he was previously not a member of any party, however he belonged to the Free Party parliamentary group, having been elected to the Riigikogu on the party's list.

He earned the support of 179 party mates on Sunday, with 144 of the party's 664 members participating at the general meeting, 94 members casting e-votes prior to the meeting and 115 casting e-votes on Sunday.

According to Talvik, the results of the almost three-year-old party's work have not reached voters and the party must make its policies and worldview more clearly visible in the future.

"We ourselves are clear — the question is whether we are capable of clearly communicating outward," Talvik told ETV news broadcast "Aktuaalne kaamera." "Our one weak spot has been communication and a certain degree of unclarity in our messages. This is something that I want to begin to address."

Former party chairman Andres Herkel agreed that the new chairman must make the party's program more understandable to voters.

"I also believe in Artur Talvik's individual potential in perhaps making a subject better heard than it sometimes is coming from someone else," said Herkel.

In his speech at the general meeting, Talvik said that the Free Party's worldview could be the opposite of policy building up the so-called "welfare society."

"We are moving in the wrong direction right now," said the new chairman. "The social system is coming apart; everything is coming apart. We must make changes and this change is an Estonia that can manage on its own, which is the opposite of the direction in which the current government or government has been moving."

Until the next general meeting, the Free Party's leadership will consist of Elo Lutsepp, Inna Rose, Liia Ojangu, Andres Ammas, Andres Herkel, Jaanus Ojangu, Kaul Nurm, Tõnu Teeveer, Urmas Ott and Vahur Kollom.

The party's general court will include Aimar Altosaar, Eino Muruste, Jako Kull, Katrin Hauk and Lembit Tuur. Allar Viik, Raivo Olmet and Urmet Külaots were elected to the internal audit committee.

The Free Party also voted with 108 votes of 132 to approve the removal of Jevgeni Krištafovitš, who had repeatedly criticized the party, from its ranks.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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