Luik: Politicians should consider direct election of head of state (2)
Former ambassador and minister Jüri Luik, who had been traded as a potential cross-party presidential candidate until Kersti Kaljulaid’s nomination on Friday, said in an interview with paper Õhtuleht that he would suggest to Estonian politicians to consider electing the president directly.
Looking at the experience of different countries across Europe, a lot of presidents were elected directly that only had nominal powers, Luik pointed out. Ireland, Iceland, and Austria were examples. Nothing terrible had happened nor could it happen, because the constitutions of these countries were very clear about the limits of the office, Luik added, saying that also the Estonian Constitution was very clear in this respect.
An advantage of direct elections, according to Luik, is also the direct participation of the voters, which could build a bridge from the population to the group of professional politicians in parliament and the different levels of government.
Luik has been traded as a potential presidential candidate for years. About his name being discussed this time around, Luik said that had he actually wanted to run for president, he would have done so.
Nobody could have foreseen the failure of the electoral college, and the political crisis that followed it. Luik said he had agreed that his name could be part of party negotiations because he knew the weight of government worries, not for the sake of honor and fame. “The president in a way lives in a golden cage, and I’m not interested in that,” Luik added.
About the parliament’s choice of Kersti Kaljulaid, Luik said that she would be a good president for Estonia.