The Free Party elected Heiki Lill chairman at its general assembly in Rapla on Sunday. The nonparliamentary party likewise elected a new board and amended its party statutes.
Elected to the new board were Märt Läänemets (30 votes), Heiki Lill (17), Kati Kongo (17), Vahur Kollom (13) and Arvet Lindström (12).
According to the amended statutes, the party elected a five-member board in lieu of a previous ten members. Neither Kaul Nurm nor Andres Herkel, both former chairmen of the party, ran for election to the party board.
The new chairman was elected by the party board at its first meeting, according to amended party statutes.
In his farewell address as outgoing chairman, Kaul Nurm admitted that the 536-strong Free Party has made a lot of mistakes. After being elected to the Riigikogu in 2015, the party neglected to grow its membership. This was also the reason why there was no point in running in local elections under the Free Party banner.
Nurm also noted that the Free Party had not led on a single issue that would have attracted more votes.
In a political statement issued by the party, the Free Party noted that it did not intend to disband, however it should seek cooperation with smaller parties with similar platforms.
"Personally, I do not currently see evidence of the initiative to join forces [with other small parties]; at least, I don't possess any," newly-elected party chairman Heiki Lill told ETV news broadcast "Aktuaalne kaamera" on Sunday. "Those I've spoken to don't really either. We will, however, try running in the next local elections together with another party. We're currently in talks with the Estonian Greens, and things seem quite promising. And actually, we should try to cooperate with all the other parties not currently represented in the Riigikogu, for example."
The general assembly also discharged the annual fiscal report as well as heard an overview of the activities of the Free Party parliamentary group.
Lill is replacing outgoing chairman Kaul Nurm, who as recently as last Wednesday had told ERR that he was unsure whether he would run for reelection.
Estonian Greens board chairman Aleksander Laane was also invited to speak at Sunday's event.
Editor: Aili Vahtla