One of the Estonia 200 group's founders, historian and director of the University of Tartu's Narva college Kristina Kallas, announced on Thursday that she is planning to run for the position of chairwoman once Estonia 200 is properly registered as a political party.
Estonia 200 will meet in force on 3 November to start a new political party. The group started out earlier this year with a liberal-conservative manifesto and has since played its part in the debates and discussions leading up to what is promising to become an interesting campaign for next year's general election on 3 March.
Kallas confirmed to ERR on Thursday that she is a candidate. As of Wednesday this week, Estonia 200 has 428 members, which means the group needs another 72 registered members to qualify for the changeover from a not-for-profit to a political party.
The group is sure it will reach 500 members by the time they have scheduled their first congress. "At the moment we don't doubt it," Kallas said.
According to Kallas, Estonia 200 is currently busy putting together the new party's statutes. How exactly the election of the party's leader will play out she couldn't yet say, she added.
On 3 May this year, Kallas along with a group of fellow academics as well as businessmen started the Estonia 200 group. The group among other things wants to reduce red tape, push ahead with the digitisation of the Estonian state, and to introduce an incentive-based health care system.
The group has faced sharp criticism over the past month, the main argument being that they are ideologically very close to previous conservative projects, such as Res Publica, one of Pro Patria's precursors, or earlier iterations of the Reform Party.
In the case the new party should gain mandates in the upcoming Riigikogu election next year, analysts expect Estonia 200 to cut into the results of mainly the moderate parties, above all Reform, but also Centre and the Social Democrats.
Despite the same last name, there is no direction to former EU commissioner Siim Kallas and his daughter, Reform Party chairwoman and likely candidate for prime minister, Kaja Kallas.
Editor: Dario Cavegn