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Pro Patria and Res Publica Union (IRL) changes party name

Justice Minister Urmas Reinsalu (Pro Patria) at the leadership meeting that decided to rename the party, May 5, 2018.
Justice Minister Urmas Reinsalu (Pro Patria) at the leadership meeting that decided to rename the party, May 5, 2018. Source: Anna Aurelia Minev/ERR

IRL goes back to the merger of Isamaaliit (Pro Patria) and Res Publica in 2006. Earlier this year the party leadership around chairman Helir-Valdor Seeder, faced with worse and worse ratings that most recently even dropped below the 5-percent threshold, decided that it is time to drop the lengthy name and the three-letter acronym and go for something simpler: Isamaa, or Pro Patria.

The extended leadership of the party, next to the Social Democrats currently one of the two junior partners in the government led by Prime Minister Jüri Ratas' Center Party, endorsed Isamaa (Pro Patria) on Saturday as the party's new name.

They also adopted a document setting out the party's world view.

"Our party represents the nationalist-conservative world view. This is positive nationalism, the aim of which is nothing less than to preserve and maintain the Estonian state, people, language, and culture. The preservation of our state is guaranteed by our independent defense capability, good allied relationships, and membership in international organizations. The preservation of our people is guaranteed by valuing the family, because a sustainable society can only be based on a strong family and children," chairman Helir-Valdor Seeder said in a press release on Saturday.

"Estonia will become stronger through balanced development and readiness for sensible novel solutions, not through revolutionary slogans. Transition to an Estonian-language and united education system is the cornerstone of the integration and cohesion of our society," Seeder added.

The party also confirmed that the document articulating the party's world view will be treated as a set of principles based on which the platform of the party for the 2019 Riigikogu elections will be drawn up.

Former minister of finance and chairman of Pro Patria's extended leadership, Sven Sester called the name change altogether logical, because the former Pro Patria Union and Res Publica became one already a long time ago.

"Respect for human dignity and human rights is the cornerstone of the conservative world view of the Pro Patria party, and the civic responsibility going with them is the key to Estonia's success," Sester said.

"Our responsibility rests on the preamble of the Constitution of Estonia. Therefore, let me emphasize that for Pro Patria it is important in the first order that the language of instruction in kindergartens and general education schools must be Estonian. Based on that, Estonian-language higher education and research must be developed," Sester said.

Both documents will be submitted to the congress of the party to gather in Viljandi on June 2.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

Source: ERR, BNS

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