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Estonia 200 hoping to keep party leadership as simple as possible

Kristina Kallas of the Estonia 200 movement.
Kristina Kallas of the Estonia 200 movement. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

The political movement Estonia 200 intends to formally register itself as a political party on Saturday. Compared to other parties, however, it hopes to adopt a much simpler management structure.

Party chairperson hopeful Kristina Kallas told ERR that the first order of business will be to vote on the party statutes together with their amendments, but this will require a 12-member party board. The chairperson of Estonia 200's party board is to be flanked by two deputy chairs.

"In our case, we are a political startup," Kallas explained. "We have a small membership and we have not set ourselves the objective of building up a party with a large membership. This means that our management structures will be very simple."

At least initially, Estonia 200 does not plan on establishing regions, a supervisory board or other management structures.

"According to the current plan, we will have a general assembly and a board," Kallas said. According to its statutes, the fledgling party will have the right to establish regions as well as other units, such as a youth assembly or a women's assembly, but according to Kallas, they do not currently envision doing so.

"We are so small that it would not be very reasonable for us to present a very complicated system that would make the decision-making process lengthy and cumbersome," she explained. "In terms of democracy we of course need to find some kind of mechanisms for inclusion, but perhaps we will invent a different kind of approach altogether on how to involve people without creating a traditional structure."

Estonia 200 intends to head into the 2019 Riigikogu elections with a full list. Regarding plans to grow the party, Kallas said that 500, the minimum number of members required in Estonia to register a new political party, is already a big number. "Our goal certainly isn't to grow into a 18,000-member party; that has never been our goal," she added.

As far as she knows, Kallas is currently the only candidate for chairperson of the party, but the final opportunity to introduce any opposing candidates will be at the party's general meeting.

Party to be established Saturday

Estonia 200's general meeting will take place at the Swissotel in Tallinn on Saturday. Members of the movement will be voting on whether to establish the movement as a political party and whether to participate in the 2019 Riigikogu elections. In addition, they will elect a party board, a chairperson of the board and an audit committee as well as vote to confirm the party's statutes and election programme.

The nonprofit Estonia 200 is a political movement which published its manifesto this May. In August, its council decided that it would move in the direction of establishing itself as a political party and run in the 2019 Riigikogu elections.

Its primary message is that in order to avoid ending up in a rut, the Estonian state must adopt a long-term plan that would ensure the country's wealth, unity, innovation and efficacy in the future as well.

The next Riigikogu elections are scheduled to take place on 3 March 2019.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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