The Riigikogu has elected Estonian representative to the European Court of Auditors Kersti Kaljulaid as the next President of the Republic of Estonia. Kaljulaid, who will also be Estonia's first woman president, is scheduled to be sworn into office on Monday, Oct. 10.
Prior to the official roll call which precedes each round of voting, MP Kadri Simson (Center), on behalf of 31 MPs, presented President of the Riigikogu Eiki Nestor with a draft amendment to the Constitution for the implementation of direct elections for the President of the Republic.
MP Laine Randjärv (Reform) also posed a question to the Riigikogu regarding whether the current elections were following democratic procedure if the media was already reporting about presidential candidate Kersti Kaljulaid and the press scheduling an interview with Kaljulaid for Monday evening, for which Nestor apologized.
After 98 of 101 MPs registered their presence at the Riigikogu, voting officially began at 1:12 p.m.
Once voting concluded at 2:12 p.m., the ballot box was emptied before the Riigikogu and ballots counted by members of the National Electoral Committee. Of 98 ballots, a total of 81 were cast in Kersti Kaljulaid's favor, with 17 blank ballots cast as well.
As a minimum of 2/3 of the vote, or 68 votes, was required to elect a president, Kersti Kaljulaid was officially declared the next President of the Republic by President of the Riigikogu Eiki Nestor.
Who is Kersti Kaljulaid?
President-elect Kersti Kaljulaid was born in Tartu in 1969. In 1992, she graduated from the University of Tartu with a degree in biology, which she followed up by earning her MBA from the same university in 2001.
In 1998 and 1999, Kaljulaid worked as a project manager in Hansapank Markets' investment banking division, where her main area of expertise included corporate mergers and acquisitions as well as privatization consulting.
In 1999, Kaljulaid became economic advisor to Prime Minister Mart Laar (Pro Patria Union). While working in this position, she coordinated cooperation of the prime minister's office, the Bank of Estonia, the Ministry of Finance and other ministries with large budget allocations. She was also coordinator of Estonia's relations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and participated in the preparation for pension reform together with the Ministries of Finance and Social Affairs.
In February 2002, Kaljulaid was appointed director of the department of management accounting at state-owned energy company Eesti Energia's Iru Power Plant, and in September of that year was promoted to director of the same.
Kaljulaid has also represented the state on the supervision board of the Estonian Genome Center, and from 2002 to 2004 was a radio presenter for Raadio Kuku. Since 2004, Kaljulaid has worked as an auditor of the European Court of Auditors.
Before her appointment to the European Court of Auditors, Kaljulaid was a member of the Pro Patria Union, one of the predecessors of today’s junior coalition partner Pro Patria and Res Publica Union, or IRL.
Editor: Editor: Aili Vahtla