In a speech made at the Centre Party congress on Saturday, Prime Minister and party chairman Jüri Ratas said that in order to build a fair country with a strong middle class, the Centre Party will need a convincing win at the upcoming Riigikogu elections next March.
Speaking to his party, Ratas said that a country in which both working-age people and the elderly are certain about their daily ability to get by, in which good education, timely and good-quality healthcare services and a pension sufficient to cover vital needs are accessible amenities, cannot be built in just a few years.
"25 seats in the Riigikogu is not enough for that — we need a convincing election win," he said, adding that the Centre Party must win the elections to rule out the creation of an ultra right-wing government by the Reform Party and the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE). "This would not serve the interests of a fair Estonia or the majority of the people of Estonia. A fair country respects all of its people and does not cynically oppose communities in the name of election votes. Our message is simple and clear — all 1.3 million are our people. The Centre Party will not leave anyone behind."
He admitted that this would be a difficult challenge, but if Estonia once again gravitates toward the right, inequality will increase even further and Estonia will continue to be a country in which few are wealthy, too many are poor and the middle class is unable to stand for its rights.
Ratas highlighted that the vision of the party is a country with a growing population that bequeaths a clean living environment to the next generations, contributes to an Estonia that is secure, with a strong culture and a smart economy and where all people are cared about.
"We must make our social system smart enough that it helps people where they need help efficiently and quickly instead of wasting time and money on useless bureaucracy," he said.
The party chairman also touched upon political culture, which, according to Ratas, must be at a level at which a politician who encourages the use of violence, mocks or humiliates their opponents and behaves in a boorish and rude manner is made by their colleagues to give it a rest.
"The same applies to those who came to politics with dishonest intentions," he added. "When it comes to corruption, there is a policy of zero tolerance in the Centre Party."
Editor: Aili Vahtla