Karin Kaup Lapõnin, the new executive director of the non-parliamentary Estonia 200, said that Estonia 200 is still operating, noting that its main goal currently is to develop its local branches across Estonia. The party likewise intends to run in the 2021 local government elections.
"Now is precisely the time where we are involved in establishing our branches and chapters so that we can get our organization functioning properly," Kaup Lapõnin said.
She added that a big seminar is planned for the end of summer as well, as is discussing the party's strategy moving forward. This fall, work will continue in preparing for the next local government elections in 2021, and according to the director, the party is already seeking candidates to run for election in the 2021 polls.
"We definitely have very serious plans, and we definitely intend to have a strong representation out in several places," she said.
According to Kaup Lapõnin, Estonia 200 has gotten by quite well as a political party.
"It's true that we fell just short of the [5-percent] election threshold in the Riigikogu elections, but to reach 4.4-percent support among the people in four months is a pretty good result, in my book," Kaup Lapõnin said. "And we definitely intend to get elected in the next elections. I believe that our party has gotten by quite well over the past eight months; we are gaining new members, we're active, and we're keeping busy."
Karin Kaup Lapõnin, who began serving as Estonia 200's executive director this month, is a longtime Estonian diplomat who only recently crossed over into the private sector.
Kaup Lapõnin has previously served as a diplomat at the Permanent Representation of Estonia to the UN and as part of an EU delegation to the African Union, and in 2012 served as vice-president of the UNICEF Executive Board. She also previously worked for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as the Tax and Customs Board (MTA).
As of Tuesday, Estonia 200 has 600 registered members, according to Estonia's commercial register.
Editor: Aili Vahtla