Estonia: Jüri Ratas quits Estonian Centre Party, joins Fatherland

The deputy speaker of the Estonian parliament, the Riigikogu, former prime minister Jüri Ratas, announced that he has quit the Estonian Centre Party (Keskerakond) and joined the Fatherland (Isamaa) party, ERR reports. He said that the values of the Centre Party’s leadership no longer coincided with his own. Ratas was replaced as party chairman by Tallinn mayor Mihhail Kõlvart in September 2023. Kõlvart insisted that the party could manage without Ratas. Kõlvart said that European Commissioner Kadri Simson had assured that she was not planning to quit the party. Following an exodus of prominent members after Kõlvart’s election as chairman, the Centre Party now has just six MPs.