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Analyst: Social Democrats Have Image Problem

Chairman of the Public Broadcasting Council Agu Uudelepp
Chairman of the Public Broadcasting Council Agu Uudelepp Source: Photo: ERR

Estonia's only traditional left-of-center party has a PR problem that keeps it from getting enough credit for its actions, says a political analyst.

Speaking on ETV's Terevisioon, Agu Uudelepp said the Social Democrats did not enjoy a high profile during their time in the governing coalition and that on the Tallinn city council they are not "getting much of anything done."

"They tend to do the nitty-gritty work, not the big, symbolic things that get the headlines," said Uudelepp.

Uudelepp said that current leader Jüri Pihl could continue to head the Social Democrats after the chairman elections in October, as he has support from the party's rank and file.

In recent years, the Social Democrats themselves have been led by several strong personalities that did not rise through the organization - including now head of state Toomas Hendrik Ilves, and Pihl, who is popular in some camps but viewed as inarticulate.

In comments on other political parties, Uudelepp said that the ruling Reform Party is unique in Estonia in being able to define its goals and fulfill them, except for the fact that the income tax rate has not continued to decrease.

Uudelepp, the former head of PR for the struggling People's Union, said that it is "difficult to see that party in the next parliament."

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