Former Reform secretary now not running in election

Kert Valdaru, former Reform Party Secretary-General.
Kert Valdaru, former Reform Party Secretary-General. Source: Sander Koit / ERR

Former Reform Party Secretary-General Kert Valdaru has announced he will not be running for the party in the March 2019 general election after all. When Mr Valdaru, who was brought in by party leader Kaja Kallas earlier on in the year, stepped down from his secretary general role, the plan was to run for parliament instead.

However, now he is set to return to his old post as manager at the Astangu Vocational Rehabilitation Centre. The centre, based in the Õismäe residential district in the west of Tallinn, is a government-funded body which as its name suggests aims to develop the career skills for those with special needs, but equally with the requirements of employers in mind.

''Life sometimes brings you some unexpected twists and turns,'' Mr Valdaru noted in a communication to Reform Party members. ''After a discussion with Marika Priske, secretary at the social ministry, who suggested I join management at the Astangu centre, and after some soul searching, I decided to go for the post, since the centre is one of the most prominent in Estonia, with some of the sharpest staff and trainees,'' he continued.

''I want to thank both the Reform Party and Kaja Kallas, and add that I will step aside from running for the Riigikogu so I can focus 100% on the centre and helping improve the lives of those with special needs and their families,'' he went on.

Mr Valdaru has also been a parliamentary advisor; it was not reported whether he is also stepping down from this role. His replacement as secretary-general is Erkki Keldo, who has worked as advisor to Reform MP Kalle Laanet.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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