Reform replaces half of board

Andres Einmann
, Eesti uudiste päevatoimetaja
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Photo: Kristjan Teedema / Tartu Postimees

At Reform Party general assembly in Tartu yesterday, Prime Minster Taavi Rõivas got re-elected as chief with 750 yes-votes from 872 participants.

Of the board of 14 half were replaced. however. The new board contains the following: MEPs Kaja Kallas and Urmas Paet, education minister Jürgen Ligi, interior minister Hanno Pevkur, state administration minister Arto Aas, rural life minister Urmas Kruuse and foreign minister Keit Pentus-Rosimannus, Riigikogu members Anne Sulling, Maris Lauri, Urve Tiidus, Ants Laaneots, Kalle Palling and Aivar Sõerd, and former foreign, justice and culture minister Rein Lang.

From these, Ms Kallas, Mr Ligi, Mr Pevkur, Mr Paet, Mr Kruuse, Ms Pentus-Rosimannus and Mr Lang were in the board before.

From the previous board, Laine Randjärv and Valdo Randpere were running again but failed to get elected. The previous board also included Kalev Lillo (in previous Riigikogu), former Riigikogu member Jaanus Tamkivi now departed from top politics, and prime ministerial bureau head Kairi Uustulnd who run not for the new board membership.

According to Kaja Kallas, one sharply critical regarding inner democracy of the party, it’s a pity the general assembly format allows not to initiate debates. «Some people indeed get the floor, but as for me for instance I was not able to defend my ideas. In this there might be a change in the future, to make room for debate as well,» Ms Kallas told BNS.

As for her criticism, Ms Kallas said chairman Taavi Rõivas and secretary-general Martin Kukk offered no answers in their addresses at general assembly. «We might debate about that. From my letter, two topics were removed, one was about the membership fee, and the other was government ministers belonging to party board. But I made ten proposals. We might indeed debate about all of these,» said Ms Kallas.

Regarding membership fee mentioned by Ms Kallas, secretary-general Mr Kukk proposed the general assembly to do away with mandatory membership fee thus enabling involvement of all supporters of the party in its processes. «Irrespective of whether their name is in the party membership list. Participation in the development of the party does not merely mean voting in the decision-making organs, but having a say in shaping of the policy, providing feedback, participation in debates,» said Mr Kukk.

Mr Kukk explained that thus no membership card would be required at party events. «This means that the party’s programme-related work would be in a constant opinion culture festival mode, where, while various fields of life are discussed, all who desire may have a say along with experts at the table.»

Reform members were able to elect new leaders in advance polls from May 11th to 16th in county organisations, and at electronic inner election from May 18th to 21st. Also, votes could be cast at the general assembly yesterday.

Chairman and board were elected into office for two years. Deputy chairmen will be picked by the board from among its members at first meeting.