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IRL chairman now allowed to attend government meetings

Helir-Valdor Seeder. Foreground: Toomas Tõniste.
Helir-Valdor Seeder. Foreground: Toomas Tõniste. Source: (Postimees/Scanpix)

The chairman of the Pro Patria and Res Publica Union (IRL), Helir-Valdor Seeder, will be able to attend government meetings from here on in, spokesman for the Government Office Urmas Seaver told BNS on Monday.

When the current coalition signed its agreement last year, it was decided that all three parties, Center, the Social Democrats, and IRL, would have an equal number of ministerial portfolios, even though Center is far ahead of its junior partners in terms of parliamentary mandates in the Riigikogu.

At the time, then-minister of defense Margus Tsahkna was also chairman of IRL, meaning that the leadership of the party had a representative in the government.

Since then Tsahkna has been replaced as IRL chairman (and actually left the party as well). Since Helir-Valdor Seeder took over, the IRL chairman hasn’t been in government meetings, as Seeder is not a government minister.

He will now be able to attend the meetings, a solution seen as sensible by all the coalition parties, as it will make the government’s work with the coalition MPs in the Riigikogu considerably easier—Seeder is not only the leader of his party, but also heads its parliamentary grioup.

Seeder isn’t setting a precedent. Another IRL chairman before him, Mart Laar, attended meetings despite not being a member of the government when he ran the party during the time Andrus Ansip (Reform) led the government.

In May Seeder was elected chairman of his party, after a bid by his predecessor to reform the party’s internal procedures and platform failed. Margus Tsahkna along with MP Marko Mihkelson left the party shortly after.

Seeder was minister of agriculture from 2007 to 2014.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

Source: BNS, ERR

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