Politicians too young to replace Ilves ({{commentsTotal}})

Since Mart Laar took Prime Minister's Office at the age of 32 in 1992, Estonia has been considered a nation of young politicians. That still rings true as the majority of the new government was under 40 when taking office April 9 this year.

That means the majority of the Cabinet, including Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas, 35, would have been too young to run for president. With Estonia getting a new president in August, 2016, ERR News takes a look at the politicians who will not be old enough to run.

To qualify, one must be 40 at the time of candidate registration, which is a few days prior to the actual first vote in Parliament. The exact date is yet to be set, but the likelihood is that it will take place in the middle or at the end of August. Lets set the date at August 15, 2016.

Of the 15 government ministers, Rõivas will be 36 in August 2016 and interior minister Hanno Pevkur 39. Justice minister Urmas Reinsalu turned 40 this year, as did Kristen Michal, while Rannar Vassiljev (health and labor), Margus Tsahkna (social protection) and Arto Aas (public administration) will all be under 40 next year, 34, 39 and 36 respectively.

Looking at Parliament, Yoko Alender (Reform Party) will be 37, Deniss Boroditš (Reform Party) 36, Dmitri Dmitrijev (Center Party) 34, Olga Ivanova (Center Party) 31, Jaanus Karilaid (Center Party) 39, Remo Holsmer (Reform Party) 35, Liina Kersna (Reform Party) 36, Mihhail Korb (Center Party) will turn 36 at the beginning of August 2016. Siret Kotka (Center Party) will have just turned 30, and Martin Kukk (Reform Party) turns 29 on August 15 next year.

Kristjan Kõlajalg (Reform Party) will be 33, Külliki Kübarsepp (Free Party) will be 35, Viktoria Ladõnskaja (IRL) also 35, Lauri Luik (Reform Party) 34, Andres Metsoja (IRL) 37, Kalle Palling (Reform Party) 31, Jüri Ratas (Center Party) 38, Martin Repinski (Center Party) 30, Erki Savisaar (Center Party) 38, Priit Sibul (IRL) 38, Anne Sulling (Reform Party) is 40 in October of next year, Priit Toobal (Center Party) will be 32 and Rainer Vakra (SDE) 35.

Social Democrat Chairman Jevgeni Ossinovski will turn 30 at the beginning of 2016. Keit Pentus-Rosimannus (Reform Party) who recently resigned as foreign minister, turns 40 in March, 2016. Center Party deputy head Kadri Simson will celebrate her 40th birthday five months after the presidential elections.

Tanel Talve (SDE) will turn 40 on August 13 next year, the closest of any MPs.

Martin Helme (EKRE) will have just turned 40 while Jaak Madison (EKRE) will be 25 next year, and will have to wait another 15 years and three presidents before he can consider running.

One former politician, who has even contested a previous presidential election, Ene Ergma (losing in 2006 by 3 votes) is unofficially turning 18 next year, finally old enough to vote. Ergma was born on February 29, 1944, on a leap year.

Siim Kallas.

Interview: Siim Kallas on ambitions, Estonian politics, and EU presidency

Following the local elections in October this year, Reform Party founder, former prime minister, EU commissioner, and presidential candidate Siim Kallas took on the job of municipal mayor of Viimsi, a community on the outskirts of Tallinn. In his interview with ERR's Toomas Sildam, Kallas talks about local government, his party, the EU presidency, and perspectives in Estonian politics.

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