Foreign trade and IT minister undecided on EKRE membership

Foreign Trade and Information Technology Minister Kaimar Karu has not yet decided if he will join the Conservative People’s Party of Estonia (EKRE) which he represents despite not being a party member

Speaking to Vikerraadio broadcast “Uudis+”, Karu said EKRE is keen for him to become a member of the party but he has not yet made up his mind.

“The strong wish of the party is that I become a member of the party,” said Karu, who stepped into the role on November 7 last year after the former Foreign Trade and Information Technology Minister Kert Kingo (EKRE) resigned.

Asked when he could become a member of the party, Karu replied: “I can’t say that right now. It’s still on the table. The first few months have been somewhat more turbulent and faster than I could have expected. Some topics which need a bit more reflection have been left on the table for contemplation.”

Karu, an IT specialist, took up the ministerial role with no previous political experience but after more than a decade of working in the IT-sphere, he told ETV’s evening news broadcast “Aktuaalne kaamera” shortly after being appointed to the position.

At the time, he said he had no immediate plans to join EKRE and he does not agree with all of the party’s values. But adding, in a free country, people should be able to take a stance on whatever issues they see fit.

“In principle, I am impressed by [EKRE’s] conservative approach. There are certainly more specific points that I would like to talk about in more detail to understand what’s behind them. Maybe it’s possible, but I can’t say that I 100 percent agree with all of it,” he said.

Adding: “I did not accept the role with the intention that I now dive into politics and remain there for the rest of my life. It’s just a political role where I feel I can do some good.”

The duties of the Minister for Foreign Trade and Information Technology consist of supporting and developing industry, business, exports, investment attraction, technological development, coordination of innovation, IT, telecommunications, postal and governmental information systems and cybersecurity.

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