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Pro Patria and Res Publica Union to change party's name

The final decision is with the party's general meeting on June 2, 2018.
The final decision is with the party's general meeting on June 2, 2018. Source: Rene Suurkaev/ERR

The leadership of the Pro Patria and Res Publica Union (IRL) decided on Monday to propose changing the party's name. The decision is with IRL's extended leadership, who are to meet on May 5, and the party's general meeting, set for June 2.

The current somewhat lengthy and clumsy name of the party, Isamaa ja Res Publica Liit (IRL) or Pro Patria and Res Publica Union in English, is a byproduct of the merger of two parties in 2006.

The name IRL's leadership has decided to go for is Isamaa. What they will want their name to be in English isn't clear yet. The direct translation of Isamaa is "fatherland" with the party previously having preferred the Latin phrase Pro Patria.

The announcement of the decision was preceded by discussions in the party, and the topic cropped up several times over the last month, but just two days after the Reform Party's new chairwoman, Kaja Kallas, brought up the concept of a "smart and self-sufficient Estonia" in her speech to her own party's delegates, IRL's announcement is the second instance of a party trying to invoke the pioneering spirit of the country's 1990s and pre-1990s politics.

Isamaa is a name with plenty of historic significance, used both by the party of Estonia's first president, Konstantin Päts, before the Second World War, and the party of post-1991 Prime Minister Mart Laar, who is seen as the driving force in Estonia's quick rise from the post-Soviet mess it found itself in, and its great success in the transition period that followed.

Laar's Isamaa merged with political newcomer Res Publica in June 2006, creating IRL.

IRL chairman Helir-Valdor Seeder stressed in a letter to his fellow party members on Monday that the party's name needed to correspond to its platform and the politics and principles it stands for.

Seeder said he discussed the issue with plenty of party members, and that the feedback had been mostly positive.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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