Irene Käosaar, director of the Integration Foundation, quit Estonia 200 on Thursday.
Ms Käosaar told ERR on Thursday that it was Estonia 200's Monday ad campaign stunt that motivated her to quit the party.
"The process currently underway in society very clearly demonstrates that politics and [my] everyday work, especially in the integration field — which is a very sensitive field based on ethnic relations — do not mix," she explained. "Clearly I was naive in my attempt to dabble in politics, thinking that it would increase my capacity to better lead this field. Now I can see that the inclusion of politics has started to interfere with my everyday work."
Controversial ads stress ethnic divide
Early on Monday morning, commuters in Central Tallinn were met with the sight of a series of bold, bilingual advertisements dividing each side of the central Hobujaama tram stop in half, with the ads on the left, in blue, stating "Here only Estonians" and the ads on the right, in red, stating "Here only Russians." By Tuesday morning, the controversial ads had been replaced — by ads for Estonia 200.
Speaking at a press conference held later on Tuesday morning, Estonia 200 chairwoman Kristina Kallas explained that her party's goal was to use the ads to draw attention to "segregation" in Estonian society, adding that it did not consider the ad campaign unethical.
Editor: Aili Vahtla