Top Pro Patria and Res Publica Union (IRL) politicians Margus Tsahkna and Marko Mihkelson announced on Monday that they are leaving the party.
Both Tsahkna and Mihkelson are currently members of IRL's 14-strong parliamentary group. Tsahkna previously served as chairman of the party, replaced by Helir-Valdor Seeder in May, while Mihkelson, who had previously serve as party deputy chairman, continues to serve as chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu.
Neither of them ran for positions in the party's governing bodies at IRL's most recent congress in May, as they were disappointed by the party's unwillingness to become more open by way of changing the party's statutes.
Neither Tsahkna nor Mihkelson will be running in the local elections this fall.
Tsahkna had been a member of IRL since August 2000, while Mihkelson joined the party in December 2001.
Announcing his decision, Tsahkna said that he had internally already made the decision to leave IRL when the party's leadership voted down his proposals to make the party more open and modern this spring.
"I find that after leaving the party it wouldn't be appropriate to criticize my former party — this won't change anything and is rather petty," Tsahkna said. "All those things which have bothered me have previously and repeatedly been publicly stated and received a lot of attention in the media as well."
Tsahkna promised to focus on his work in the Riigikogu without joining another party.
Editor: Aili Vahtla