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Indrek Tarand to run for Riigikogu, doesn't rule out Europe either

Indrek Tarand MEP is the most influential amongst Estonia's six MEPs, but did not make it on to the Votewatch 100 list.
Indrek Tarand MEP is the most influential amongst Estonia's six MEPs, but did not make it on to the Votewatch 100 list. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Member of the European parliament Indrek Tarand, one of six MEPs Estonia sends to Brussels, has announced that he is to run for the Estonian parliamentary (Riigikogu) elections in March 2019, though he has not yet said which party he may run for.

Speaking to Rain Kooli on ERR's politics show 'Live from the News Building' on Wednesday morning, Mr. Tarand said that he will wait and see what offers come his way from the political parties in Estonia and make a decision based on that.

Indrek Tarand was elected to the European Parliament in 2009 as an independent, though joined the Greens/European Free Alliance bloc once there. He also ran in the 2011 Presidential elections in Estonia against Toomas-Hendrik Ilves.

Recognizing that the move sounds a bit machiavellian, à la Frank Underwood from TV series 'House of Cards', Mr. Tarand stated that he was not confining his range to any new party or parties emerging on the political scene (which would include the will-they/won't-they Estonia 200 group-cum-party, as well as former Free Party leader Artur Talvik's proposed new party) but also the established parties.

''A 'green', but nonetheless cannabis-free movement, which somewhat inevitably will morph into a party,'' was Mr. Tarand's take on Artur Talvik's new initiative, which he thought had some sound ideals.

A good idea doesn't always equal a good film

However, Mr. Tarand seemed keen to put a certain amount of distance between himself and the proposed new Talvik-led party.

''Artur is a film-maker, but a good idea does not necessarily a good film make,'' he went on.

Additional impetus in coalition-forming comes from European Commissioner ambitions, including those of Mr. Tarand, and the next European elections (also in 2019) as well as the choice of next European Commissioner should be kept in view as well, he explained.

"My preparation and experience would suit the European Parliament well, not least since there is an unwritten rule that commissioners are drawn from the ranks of MEPs,'' he went on, outlining a path already trodden by both of Estonia's European Commissioners past and present, Andrus Ansip and Siim Kallas.

''I am interested in the work of commissioner, so I can not rule out the necesity of taking part in the European Parliamentary elections once more," he said.

Editor: Andrew Whyte

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