Simson: Reps only candidate with enough nomination votes for presidency
Posting on social media, MP Kadri Simson (Center) wrote that the Reform Party's inability to decide on its presidential candidate may play into someone else's hands, whereas the Center Party's candidate Mailis Reps is currently the only presidential hopeful to have the number of votes necessary for nomination.
Simson was commenting in response to an article published in the Wednesday edition of Estonian weekly Eesti Ekspress which argued that the Reform Party-led government coalition may opt to back Social Democrat Eiki Nestor as a presidential candidate.
"The point is that the president is a relatively unimportant person in the opinion of the Reform Party and [the position] can be traded off to a smaller partner [in exchange] for loyalty," Simson wrote. "This part of the narrarative you can even agree with. While all other parties have made up their mind regarding their presidential candidate, the Reform Party's inability to do so clearly indicates an unwillingnness to even give either Siim Kallas or Marina Kaljurand a serious chance. At the same time, I know that there are people among the Social Democrats as well who do not wish someone in debt of gratitude to the Reform Party to become president on their behalf again"
She added that the third portion of votes for Nestor is supposed to come from the Center Party in return for becoming part of the ruling government.
"However, there are a couple of caveats to this," she explained. "First, the new coalition will no longer be an alliance of someone just letting time tick away and dealing with fine-tuning alone. Second, it will not be possible for Taavi Rõivas to continue as prime minister in the new alliance. Therefore it is not in Rõivas' interests this time to agree, and hence we will be in the same situation as in 2001, when a similar three-party alliance was squabbling and Arnold Rüütel became president — and there was a change of government soon."
Simson continued on to say that while all kinds of speculation were interesting, "As things stand now, Mailis Reps remains the only candidate who has the necessary votes to stand."