TALLINN – Several Center Party MPs will likely leave the faction due to the tensions within the party's leadership, Centrist MP Peeter Kreitzberg said on Wednesday.
Kreitzberg told the TV channel ETV that the Center Party faction would likely to undergo a major reshuffling next week as up to eight MPs were likely to leave.
Former Tallinn Mayor and Center Party MP Robert Lepikson, who was expelled from the party on April 28, said he will leave the faction but would not leave Parliament.
Lepikson, unlike many other centrists MPs, did not sign the party agreement that would oblige him to abandon the legislature if he leaves the party.
In addition to Lepikson, film director Mark Soosaar and former high police official Olev Laanjarv have filed their party resignation applications. They too intend to stay in Parliament.
The group of Center Party MPs that has been criticizing the party leadership principle – nicknamed by the local media as "the rebels" – may take up to eight people from the party's Parliament faction of 28. The Center Party faction is the largest opposition faction in the Estonian Parliament, which has 101 seats.
According to Liina Tonisson, one of the "rebels," the party's internal opposition hopes to have a constructive discussion with party Chairman Edgar Savisaar at party meeting scheduled for May 6.
Tonisson was to be expelled from the party by her regional party branch, though this decision was suspended by the party's board, presumably due to her significance influence within the party.