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Karilaid: No place in Center Party for Yana Toom if same course continues

Legal Affairs Committee chairman Jaanus Karilaid (Center) at the Riigikogu.
Legal Affairs Committee chairman Jaanus Karilaid (Center) at the Riigikogu. Source: (Postimees/Scanpix)

Deputy chairman of the Center Party, Jaanus Karilaid, said on Sunday that if Yana Toom continued on her current course for much longer he didn’t see a place for her in the party anymore.

Toom’s views often diverge from the Center Party’s positions, a fact that got renewed attention when Toom wasn’t happy with the requirements for the Estonian Women’s Union’s Mother of the Year award. Other than most of the recent criticism of the award, Toom’s issue wasn’t that only married mothers should be eligible—but the fact that no Russian citizen living in Estonia and no holder of an Alien’s Passport had ever won it.

Karilaid told ERR’s Aktuaalne Kaamera that this was Toom on an election campaign, and that her attitude was that of an Interfront politician much rather than that of one of the Popular Front of Estonia., a popular movement in the late 1980s that called for change but opposed Estonian independence from the Soviet Union, while the Popular Front, founded among others by former long-time Center Party chairman Edgar Savisaar, aimed at Estonian independence.

What would become of Toom in the Center Party the near future would show, Karilaid said. “If she continues the same way, then I personally don’t see a place for her in the Center Party,” he added.

On Friday Toom, along with Center MPs Olga Ivanova and Oudekki Loone, sent an open letter to Prime Minister Jüri Ratas, criticizing him for stating that Estonia had no reason to celebrate the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany on May 9, as this event had meant decades of occupation.

The letter was itself a reaction to the party leadership reprimanding Ivanova and Loone, both of whom had participated in a May 9 celebration at the Bronze Soldier monument in Tallinn. Ivanova gave an interview to Russian state-owned news portal Sputnik, and Loone was criticized for statements made in an interview with ERR’s Aktuaalne kaamera newscast.

Karilaid commented on Friday that if cooperation with Toom, Ivanova, and Loone was no longer possible, then this would need to have consequences and an effect on the party’s lists for the upcoming elections.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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