Former chairman of the supervisory board of the Bank of Estonia, Jaan Männik has confirmed that he will be a candidate in next year's parliamentary elections for the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE).
Männik joined the party's members for their summer days in Põlva County this week. "My world-view is national conservative. There is no other party in Estonia besides EKRE who engages in national conservative politics," Männik told fellow party members.
Männik, born in 1945, worked as a planner for Anglo Traders Ltd in Toronto from 1972 to 1973, and later on in Sweden for various energy companies and industry conglomerates as well as for the Swedish state.
He continued his career in business in Estonia on from the early 1990s, rising to the top echelons of Eesti Telefon and later on Eesti Telekom, whose CEO he was from 2000 to 2007.
He was chairman of the supervisory board of the Bank of Estonia from 2008 to 2013, and also sat on the boards of directors of the Estonian Development Fund and Estonian Air.
Männik is also a former member of Pro Patria.
Männik candidacy helping EKRE address principal weakness
According to several observers as well as leadership members of Estonia's other parties, EKRE's principal issue before the 2019 Riigikogu election will be finding candidates for its lists.
Looking back at the party's disappointing performance in the 2016 local elections, EKRE will likely be able to translate its increasing popularity into parliamentary mandates only if it finds a sufficient number of candidates.
Despite its seven mandates in the current Riigikogu, EKRE is largely dominated by its chairman, Mart Helme, and his son, Martin Helme, who is the chairman of EKRE's parliamentary group. Beyond the inner circle around them, the party has only a small number of candidates likely to attract a large number of personal votes, which could be a liability come March next year.
Editor: Dario Cavegn
Source: BNS, ERR