The general meeting of the Setomaa branch of the Social Democratic Party (SDE) on Wednesday night decided to nominate former Väätsa Municipal Mayor and current SDE board member Lauri Lääts for chairman of the SDE at the party's general meeting in June.
"We decided to nominate Lauri Läänemets as he has proven himself as a down-to-earth leader of the people with the ability to listen and the desire to include members of the party and opinions from outside of Tallinn more," said Setomaa branch chairman and Setomaa Municipal Mayor Raul Kudre.
According to Mr. Läänemets, he considers it his goal to bring freshness back into the leadership of the party, as well as find ways to better address voters.
"Estonia's growth in recent years and the accompanying increase in social inequality has played every trump card directly into the hands of the Social Democrats, but unfortunately we have managed to gamble all of them away," he said. "The Social Democrats' poor results in the latest Riigikogu elections illustrates that the party, which has lost direction, needs to reflect anew on its goals. It is time for the Social Democrats to return to among the people as well as look beyond Tallinn."
Lauri Läänemets joined SDE in 2010. He was the chairman of the Young Social Democrats from 2011 to 2013, and in the latter year was elected mayor of Väätsa, a now defunct rural municipality in Järva County. He held the position until Väätsa merged with neighboring Türi and Käru to form the municipality of Türi in November 2017.
Läänemets has built a solid reputation as a volunteer and civic activist. He is a member of both the Defence League (Kaitseliit) and the Police and Border Guard Board's assistant policemen. He has been a candidate in several general and European elections for Rahvaliit, a combined list of Rahvaliit and the Estonian Greens, and SDE.
Among the currently three candidates, Läänemets represents Estonia's rural and more remote areas, while Indrek Saar comes out of the more urban artistic scene, and Riina Sikkut out of social policy and public administration.
Editor: Aili Vahtla, Dario Cavegn