I think the most interesting news I’ve heard in days is that Abdul Turay is going to be on SDE’s list in the coming municipal elections. It might warrant international coverage, too, at least in the British press, as one of their own stands a chance of playing some kind of role in Estonian politics. In local media, Abdul’s subhead is “the first black candidate” in Estonian politics, accompanied by his very-un-Estonian-looking head shot. He’s certainly unique for that reason, but I think he’s more unique because of his citizenship — he’s a Briton who has made some impact on domestic politics in Estonia. And he might serve as a model for others in Estonia’s sizable community of foreign transplants to stick their necks out more, rather than complaining fatalistically about life from behind the computer screen or with friends at the pub, or pulling an, “Aw, shucks, what do I know about that?” routine when asked for their opinions. I personally don’t feel like a career in politics is in the bag for me though. My earlier dabbling in well-catered international conferences and cutthroat online boxing matches, and then career shift toward stuttering Woody Allen-like neurotic self analyses have shut those doors for good. But if I did have to run on a list, it would probably be SDE’s list. To be in Reform, I’d have to start wearing a suit and putting all my faith in the invisible hand. Centre, and I’d have to sleep with a pillow that has Savisaar’s face printed on it. IRL, and I would need to part my hair on the side and study up on my war history, not to mention Estonianize my name. If you think about it, SDE is probably the only party that people like me and Turay could join. It’s becoming the party for people who don’t fit in to any of the other parties.


6 thoughts on “abdul+sde”

  1. Never say never. Politics has never really been about great coming together. It's more about sandbox games,mud slinging, intrigues and pickering. It takes a certain kind, at least in Estonia, to succeed and stay true to oneself.

    I personally like the SDE too. They seem to be the most diverse party out there. If I look at the politicians from IRL or Kesk I often wonder – who are these people, what are their families like? It's as if they're from a different world. Reform is somewhere in between, I think…

    Good luck for Abdul. There's lots of people with central Asian background in politics of Tallinn, he'll be alright. The fact that he's British shouldn't matter at all, so long he'll learn the language.


  2. Abdul's joining Estonian politics is quite refreshing, indeed. Only that the average Estonian would not know and care about him being a Briton actually, for a long time he'll be just “black” and therefore from Africa.


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