Free Party Deputy Chairman Kaul Nurm on Wednesday confirmed that he will run against incumbent Andres Herkel for chairman of the opposition party in a vote to be held at a general meeting at the end of the month.
Describing the Free Party as a "party of substance" with capable members and powerful personalities, Nurm said that unfortunately the commitment of these people can no longer stand out. He said that party members are currently finding it difficult to even give each other an unconstrained smile.
"This situation can be changed when the equilibrium point is found again," Nurm said. "There are not many people in the party who are still able to bring about such shift. Continuing the old way, the Free Party will get stuck."
According to the current deputy chair, the Free Party stands apart from other political movements in that it pronounced a rather clear worldview base at the very beginning: patriotic, nationalist, conservative, responsible, entrepreneurial, building on self-initiative, and cherishing education. This has ensured a relatively stable membership for the party even when it has taken a stance on issues dividing society, he added.
"Speaking further about the party's ideology, I belong among those who, while adhering to 'free conservatism,' reach out a bit more towards liberalism and openness," Nurm said. "At the same time, I support the principles of sustainable development and an ecologically balanced lifestyle. For me, conservatism is secular reticence in the first place."
Nurm described increasing the focus on developing a dynamic and modern economy, issues with the organisation of education, improving access to health insurance and medical services, and the coping of citizens, including the elderly, as important to the party. He also named developing the digital market and digital state as important.
New leadership to be elected
A scheduled general meeting of the Free Party on 30 September will elect the party's chairman, governing board, honour court and audit committee.
Internal conflicts within the Free Party were made public in mid-August, when chairwoman of the party's Pärnu branch Heli Künnapas sent a letter to the board in which she demanded the resignation of party chairman Andres Herkel and the election of a new board. Over the following weeks, Jaanus Ojangu, Vello Väinsalu, Elo Lutsepp, Monika Haukanõmm and Vahur Kollom all resigned from the party board.
Editor: Aili Vahtla