The newest addition to Estonia's political scene, the Biodiversity Party (Elurikkuse Erakond), proved that it is for real by presenting the requried documents to the registry department of Tarty County Court on Wednesday.
After months of will-they-won't they, and being a long way off the requisite 500 members to be legally registered as a party, it now seems that Estonia has two eco-friendly political parties to choose from at the March 2019 elections (the Estonian Greens is the other).
A final rally of membership accrual was by the own admission of party secretary Toomas Trapido almost unbelievable.
On the right track
''Picking up so many new members so quickly proves we are on the right track,'' said Mr Trapido, noting that many new members were those who planned to vote for the party in the election, and that it had attracted experts in related fields.
Moreover a more open and inclusive discourse in society was crucial in the light of problems, both ecological and otherwise, including deforestation, the abortive pulp mill construction and controversy surrounding the UN Global Migration Compact.
"The next big challenge is to put together a full list,'' added Mr Trapido, noting that this would be done from a grass-roots level rather than with a top-down approach as most established parties would do.
Grass roots approach
''We have set ourselves the goal of implementing a bottom-up principle, where candidates selection will be decentralised, rather than compiling election lists at party HQ. We have to break down this old-fashioned party system, because only then can we build up a truly democratic and efficient state,'' Mr Trapido continued.
The Biodiversity Party leader, Artur Talvik, was formerly Free Party leader and appeared on Tuesday's current affairs show ''Studio One'' (''Esimene studio''). The party was formed in summer around a core cadre of Tartu-based ecologists and related activists. Its main platform as implied revolves around a bottom-up government, strong, regional communities, education and comprehensive security, whatever that may mean.
Together with the recently-registered Estonia 200 party, Biodiversity's emergence brings the choice of parties going into the March 2019 election to around nine.
Editor: Andrew Whyte