Social Dems Seal Merger with Russian Party
At a meeting of its general assembly in Jõhvi on February 19, the Social Democratic Party approved its merger agreement with the Russian Party in Estonia, ending a unification process that began in November.
In total, 383 delegates voted in favor of the agreement, which had been signed by chairmen of both parties on January 12. Four delegates voted against the merger and nine remained neutral, the party said in a statement.
The document received a similar vote of approval from the Russian Party’s congress on January 29. According to the agreement, Russian Party leader Stanislav Tsherepanov will become deputy chairman of the Social Democrats.
In modern Estonia, the right to actively participate in society should not depend on nationality or mother tongue, said Social Democratic Party Chairman Sven Mikser, adding that the move would make the party even stronger. “This will not make us anything less than an Estonian party,” he said.
According to the Social Dems’ Secretary General Indrek Saar, the merger was a historic decision that will help society reach internal coherence. “Ethnic rivalry, which many political parties encourage, must end,” Saar said.
During the meeting, delegates also adopted a new manifest that explains the party’s core values.