Savisaar launches presidential campaign; Karis to sit this one out ({{commentsTotal}})

Confirming the speculations of many, Center Party Chairman and Tallinn ex-mayor Edgar Savisaar launched his own presidential campaign on his 66th birthday on Tuesday. Auditor General Alar Karis, however, rejected the Estonian Greens’ support for a potential bid.

Savisaar, who was removed from office as Mayor of Tallinn last fall, celebrated his birthday on Tuesday at a store in Tallinn’s Lasnamäe district, reported ERR’s television news.

Filling in as a cashier with some help from assistants, Savisaar handed shoppers “Savisaar for President” fliers together with their receipts.

A large advertisement bearing the same message and referencing an official campaign kick-off event appeared in the capital city’s Tõnismäe neighborhood overnight as well.

Savisaar has indicated that more than 12 Center Party regional leaders suggested he run for president in Estonia’s upcoming elections.

Tallinn’s ex-mayor was removed from office by court order in September 2015 after being suspected of accepting bribes, corruption and money laundering. Savisaar has, however, retained his position at the head of Estonia’s popular Center Party.

Estonian Greens want Alar Karis for president

The Board of Directors of the Estonian Greens party proposed supporting Estonia’s current Auditor General Alar Karis for president, citing in his favor the fact that he is not a member of any political party, his experiences as president of the Estonian University of Life Sciences and the University of Tartu in turn, reported ETV’s nightly news broadcast “Aktuaalne kaamera.” The Greens also found that Karis had proven his ability to remain independent in his role as auditor general.

Karis himself responded to the political party’s support with a post on his Facebook page, however, stating that he planned to continue serving Estonia in his current position.

“I have had, and perhaps in the future will again have, the opportunity to serve the state in various positions,” wrote Karis. ”Currently I have been entrusted with the position of Auditor General, in which I will serve to the best of my ability and in which I can contribute to the improvement of the functioning of the Estonian state.”

Editor: Editor: Aili Sarapik

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