IRL chairman says party won’t support simplified naturalization procedure ({{commentsTotal}})

Helir-Valdor Seeder.
Helir-Valdor Seeder. Source: (ERR)

As chairman of IRL, Helir-Valdor Seeder leads one of the three coalition parties. Yet he disagrees with a point in the agreement his party signed with the Social Democrats and the Center Party last year that calls for a simplified naturalization procedure for the children of parents who aren’t Estonian citizens.

Seeder told ERR on Friday that this particular matter shouldn’t be touched at this point. The coalition agreement included two issues that contradicted each other, as it called for a simplified naturalization procedure for the children of Estonian residents who aren’t citizens, but also said that the fundamental principles of the Citizenship Act wouldn’t be violated.

Seeder said that a choice was needed which course the government’s policies should pursue.

The Center Party, Social Democrats, and Pro Patria and Res Publica Union (IRL) included a point in their coalition agreement last year outlining future citizenship policy. Children younger than 15 years old who were born in Estonia and whose parents either hold unspecified citizenship or are citizens of a third country, but lived permanently in Estonia before 1991, would have the chance to apply for a simplified naturalization procedure.

A condition arising from the Citizenship Act still applied to this new policy is that anyone who attained citizenship this way has to give up their citizenship of a third party when they turn 18.

Seeder was elected chairman of IRL earlier this year. He was not part to the coalition negotiations with his party’s partners in government, and has repeatedly taken positions that differ greatly from those of IRL’s leadership under his predecessor, Margus Tsahkna.

Tsahkna left the party shortly after Seeder’s election.

IRL is struggling to find its own line in the currently ongoing election campaign. The party has been on the brink of dropping below the 5-percent threshold in most of this year’s approval ratings and despite a leadership chance and gearing its platform towards conservative-nationalist voters so far hasn’t been able to improve its numbers.

The other two parties in the coalition still support the introduction of a simplified naturalization prodecure.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

Source: ERR, BNS

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