Former MP Igor Gräzin leaves Reform Party ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Igor Gräzin, formerly of Reform.
Igor Gräzin, formerly of Reform. Source: Sander Koit/ERR

Former MP Igor Gräzin has now left the Reform Party. A founder member of Reform, Mr Gräzin had already announced his decision to step down as an MEP and leave politics altogether, ahead of the general election on 3 March and the European elections in May. Mr Gräzin only became an MEP in the summer, replacing Kaja Kallas who had returned to Estonia after being appointed Reform Party leader.

''I didn't leave the party, the party left me,'' wrote Mr Gräzin on his social media account, utilising a famous quote of Ronald Reagan's after leaving the Democratic Party early in his political career to join the Republicans.

Mr Gräzin added that the Reform Party he helped to create 25 years ago, no longer exists.

''Instead of a citizen's state, we have built a state apparatus which cares more about papers than people,'' Mr Gräzin went on to explain.

''A sort of state capitalism has been running in place of a truly free market economy for about a decade now. The founding liberal principles of the party have all but evaporated, despite my best efforts to bring them back,'' he continued.

Mr Gräzin, who became a Reform Party member in November 1994, said that his disagreements with the party stem back to Andrus Ansip's tenure as party leader and prime minister, when the party became more left of centre and state capitalism oriented, he says.

Mr Gräzin, who had said he was going to leave politics altogether and even had plans to study for the church ministry in addition to his teaching at Tallinn university, dismissed questions by ERR as to whether he would joint the ranks of the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE).

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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