Tsahkna: More defections from IRL to come ({{commentsTotal}})

Marko Mihkelson (left) and Margus Tsahkna (right) entering the restaurant where they announced their decision to leave IRL to the press. June 26, 2017.
Marko Mihkelson (left) and Margus Tsahkna (right) entering the restaurant where they announced their decision to leave IRL to the press. June 26, 2017. Source: (Siim Lõvi/ERR)

Former Pro Patria and Res Publica Union (IRL) chairman Margus Tsahkna, who left the party this June, predicts that more MPs will leave both IRL and the Free Party following next month's local elections.

Speaking to ETV news broadcast "Aktuaalne kaamera" about the prospects for the near future of IRL and the Free Party, the two parliamentary parties with the lowest ratings currently, Tsahkna found that a number of these two parties' MPs are no longer thinking about their party's future, but their own.

"Personally, concrete MPs are thinking about what will become of them in the 2019 [Riigikogu] elections, and I cannot rule out that there will be some kind of movement going on," he said. "Maybe someone will defect to the Reform Party, someone to the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE), who knows."

IRL parliamentary group chairman Priit Sibul could not take Tsahkna's comments seriously, however.

"I am glad that Margus has noticed that the parliamentary season has begun," Sibul said. "But this story reminds me of habits he had at the market in Tartu, here one morning he told one lady one thing, and the next morning he heard the story from another lady. This shouldn't be taken seriously."

On June 26, Margus Tsahkna and Marko Mihkelson announced their resignation from IRL. Neither have joined another political party in the meantime, and Tsahkna has not ruled out forming a new party.

ERR on Thursday published the latest party ratings by Turu-uuringute AS, according to which the Free Party's rating fell below the five-percent election threshold to four percent, while IRL hit a half-year high of eight percent.

Local government council elections will take place on Oct. 15.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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