Ilves: election winner will get first chance to form government ({{commentsTotal}})

The president has his share of coverage in the Estonian press today. Postimees published a 2,000-word interview with Toomas Hendrik Ilves, while Eesti Ekspress has promised an exposé about the president's inner circle and personal life.

The Postimees interview (link in Estonian) started off with questions about the upcoming election. Asked whether Estonian democracy would be stronger if more parties than the current four were elected to Parliament on March 1, Ilves said not necessarily - that it could even result in a weaker government. He said that there was no proof that any of the current big four parties were forming a "cartel" - the latter mooted in passing by the interviewer.

Ilves confirmed that unlike some of his predecessors, he would honor the implicit tradition in Estonia and give the leader of the party that gets the most seats in Parliament the first chance to form a government.

On the subject of Ukraine, he said it was of course hard to say the ceasefire was working based on developments in Debaltseve and that if it was not working, a new solution would be have to be employed, up to and including the idea of arming Ukraine with modern weapons. Ilves stated that his personal preference was to support Ukraine "above all" with defensive technology such as radars and drones.

On Greece, he said: "Let's not speculate yet. The history of the European Union is full of last-minute agreements in seemingly hopeless situations."

Moving into tabloid territory briefly, Postimees asked what really happened in the Sky News incident. Ilves said he had been told by Sky's people that the interview was being recorded and that when he insisted on starting the interview over with the right name, he did not know it was live television.

Editor: K. Rikken