At the ruling Reform Party's annual congress in Tartu on Saturday, Prime Minister and party chairman Andrus Ansip said that the recently published Estonian Human Development Report is praise for the party and that party members can be proud of how far Estonia has come.
“Authors of the report essentially say that our policies have been geared towards increasing everyone's wealth and well-being and that, at the end, moves every part of life forward,” said Ansip, speaking at the congress.
“It is the Reform Party, which has in the tricky last decade, safeguarded the continuance of Estonia's freedom, free-market economy and the freedom of society,” Ansip said.
Ansip said that the party has been instrumental in the nation's development in the last 20 years. “And we have reason to sincerely be proud of that,” he said.
Speaking about the future, the prime minister said the only way to increase people's income was economic growth, and that Estonia's competitive lies in its business and tax environment.
He also named declining population as the nation's biggest long-term problem and stressed the importance of national health.
Party elects more female board
In the election of the party's 14-member board, MP Kaja Kallas lead the way, collecting the most votes (909). Of the three new faces on the board, the two other members are also women, bringing the total to five.
The separate vote for Party Chairman went as expected, with Ansip re-elected for the next two years. He garnered 1,212 votes, and reiterated his earlier statements that he will not be a candidate for Prime Minister in the 2015 elections.
“A year ago, I said I will not assemble the next government, even if cooperation between coalition members begins to fade before the next elections. I believe that new faces will be found who wish to lead the party in two years, who would want to run for the position of Reform Party prime minister,” said Ansip.
New campaign launched
The party's secretary general, Martin Kukk, said that the party will launch a new campaign on Monday with the title “Proud of Estonia.”
Kukk said Estonia, in a very short time period, has become a nation that is an example to others.
The party plans to nominate a record number of candidates in the October local elections, Kukk said, adding that the results of those municipal elections could determine the next President in 2016.
Estonia's President is elected by Parliament, but if Parliament fails to back any one candidate with at least a two-thirds majority, the decision is made by a pool of MPs and local government delegates.
Ansip at Party Congress: We Built an Estonia We Can Be Proud Of