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Pevkur not to run for Reform lead again, Kallas not announcing yet

Reform Party chairman Hanno Pevkur announced on Wednesday that he won't run for chairman again in January 2018.
Reform Party chairman Hanno Pevkur announced on Wednesday that he won't run for chairman again in January 2018.

Chairman Hanno Pevkur confirmed to ERR on Wednesday that he isn't planning to run for the chairmanship of the Reform Party in its upcoming internal elections in January. Meanwhile Kaja Kallas, who is tipped his successor, says that she needs time to decide.

"I've proposed that Kaja should run for party chairwoman, and that means I'm not running, doesn't it," Pevkur told ERR on Wednesday.

Though Kallas told news portal after Pevkur's endorsement that it had come as a surprise to her, Pevkur said that he had indeed spoken to her before making his announcement.

Pevkur also commented that Kallas' life was in Brussels at the moment, with a kid going to school there as well. Naturally it would be better to have the leader of the party here in Estonia, but this was her decision, he said.

Kallas taking time to decide

Kaja Kallas told ERR on Wednesday that she now needs to find out whether or not she has the support of other members of the Reform Party's leadership beyond Pevkur.

Before her decision there were people she needed to talk to, Kallas added. These included party members, the party leadership, but also the different sections.

If the goal of her candidacy was to unite the party and hope for a strong campaign and an election victory in 2019, then it was important to make sure that "everybody is in the same boat", Kallas said.

The current leadership with Hanno Pevkur as chairman has been divided since its rocky start in January this year. Pevkur recently faced criticism from several party members, if a lot of it came in the guise of talk about the party's less than desirable state considering the next parliamentary elections.

Daily Postimees had it in late November that Kaja Kallas along with her father, Reform Party honorary chairman and former prime minister as well as EU commissioner Siim Kallas, had met with Reform Party heavyweight Kristen Michal to discuss replacing Pevkur (ERR News reported).

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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