Kersti Kaljulaid: The president must be there where things get complicated (5)

Presidential candidate Kersti Kaljulaid seated next to President of the Riigikogu Eiki Nestor. Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2016. (Hanna Samoson/ERR)
9/30/2016 10:30 AM
Category: News

In her open letter to the Estonian media, presidential candidate Kersti Kaljulaid found that the role of the president is to be present wherever things are getting complicated at the moment and promised to impartially contribute to the elimination of bottlenecks in Estonian life.

"The role of the president is described in the Constitution," wrote Kaljulaid in an open letter published in full by daily Eesti Päevaleht (link in Estonian). "But the president always has the power of their word, which is not mentioned in the Constitution. The president cannot offer solutions to every problem of Estonian life, but even just the formulation and recognition of a problem is a huge step toward a solution. This can and must be done by the president — demandingly, responsibly and impartially. But not always publicly. Just as needed so that we'd move toward a solution."

Kaljulaid stated that she does not have a program and that the president does not need a program, as political parties have them.

"Preceding elections, political parties have the obligation to consider how exactly we will move forward," she explained. "The president, however, must have views. These make the president's actions understandable and predictable. They provide the people with a clear understanding of the basis on which the president speaks regarding Estonian and world events."

In her opinion, a state supporting its citizens in their choices is an ethical state — in other words, ethical is the Estonia which confidently supports the vulnerable from its budget before spending on those who should be strong.

"Support is for those who are unable to realize their freedoms as they are children, ill or for some reason lacking an education," explained Kaljulaid. "Freedoms are meant for everyone else. Comprehensive enterprise support isn't strictly necessary. But what are strictly necessary are schools, preschools, sports schools, sports opportunities and promotion of health. An ethical Estonia has its hands full of work with which it must deal with in order to maintain, protect and develop the nation. In order to create a confident Estonian resident."

According to Kaljulaid, one's understanding of the country and what it has to offer must change according to changes in society and Estonia has become a country of civic associations.

"We are all the state," she explained. "In addition to tax revenue, the people of Estonia contribute to their country more and more with their actions, their time and their word. It is time to take this resource into use. it is necessary to figure out how some public services can be taken over by the third sector there, where there are few of us or where fairly specific support is needed."

In the presidential candidate's opinion, Estonia is stuck in the trap of average income, from which it can escape with solutions fit specifically for Estonia, where following trends isn't enough anymore.

"A state with an average [monthly] income of 1,000 euros does not need simple solutions anymore such as technology offered by foreign investors and a developed distribution channel," she noted. "Now we must join the leaders of innovation. We will join them, I am sure."

Kaljulaid noted that the president's role in Estonia was very important. "If I become president on Monday, then I will promptly begin addressing my biggest shortfall — the fact that the people of Estonia don't know me," she promised. "I will do this as much as possible and as quickly as possible without neglecting the other functions and obligations assigned to the president."

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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