Kaljurand continues as minister of foreign affairs
Marina Kaljurand met with Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas (Reform) on Wednesday afternoon for a talk about the Reform Party’s decision to support Siim Kallas in the electoral college in September. She will continue as foreign minister in Rõivas’ government, but said she would consider running for president anyway if she was approached.
In an interview with ERR on Wednesday, Kaljurand said Rõivas explained to her why the party had decided to support Kallas instead of her. “It isn’t my business to comment on the decisions of the Reform Party,” Kaljurand said. “I think I would have been the better candidate, but this decision has been made, and I’ll live with it.”
According to a survey conducted by Turu-Uuringute AS in August, 22% of Estonians over the age of 15 would like to see Marina Kaljurand become president. Support for Siim Kallas stood at 17%, followed by 15% in favor of Center Party chairman Edgar Savisaar, who is not currently a candidate.
About a month ago Kaljurand suggested that Kallas should run in the Riigikogu, and that she herself would only come in if the election continued on in the electoral college. Late on Tuesday Kallas’ supporters made it a point to quickly rally the party around him not to lose the momentum he had gained by garnering the most votes in the third and final ballot round.
But this shouldn’t be seen as too much of an advantage. Kallas, at 42 votes, was still far away from the 68 needed for election. Also, the only reason why he got as many is because the Social Democratic Party carried him as their candidate. Rising tensions between the coalition partners make it likely that at least part of the Social Democratic members of the electoral college will gladly vote for a candidate other than Reform’s official choice.
It isn’t over until it’s over
After her meeting with Rõivas on Wednesday, Kaljurand said to journalists that if someone should approach her about becoming a candidate in the electoral college, she would very seriously consider it.
“Of course that’s a subject I’d have to think about very seriously if somebody should make such a suggestion. If I ran in the electoral college, I couldn’t continue as foreign minister. But I’ll think about these questions when the time comes,” Kaljurand said. She added that she herself couldn’t decide to be a candidate, but that she needed to be nominated by others.
About the appeal published by 47 public figures on Wednesday to electoral college members to nominate her for president, Kaljurand said that it was “very positive” and that she appreciated it a lot.
Asked whether she was considering to join the Reform Party, Kaljurand said that this wasn’t currently something she was thinking about.