Kaljulaid has enough support for both nomination and election
The Center Party’s parliamentary group confirmed on Wednesday that Kersti Kaljulaid had 20 of their 27 votes. With the government coalition as well as the Free Party also supporting her, there now seems to be a sufficient number of votes to get the next president elected next Monday.
Kaljulaid made the rounds on Toompea on Wednesday, meeting the parliamentary groups one by one. After two failed elections, of which one took place in the Riigikogu and the other in the electoral college, the parties now seem to be in agreement who to elect.
Chairwoman of the Center Party’s group in the Riigikogu, Kadri Simson, said that Kaljulaid could count on 20 of their votes, both in terms of nominating signatures as well as election in the according sitting of the parliament next Monday, Oct. 3.
Reform chairman and Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas announced that there was consensus in his party’s group, and that Kaljulaid could expect its MPs to support her, also in terms of getting her nominated. Rõivas called on all six groups to find common ground and elect the next head of state, calling it “the responsibility of all six parliamentary groups” to do so.
Member of the Reform Party group Imre Sooäär posted on social media after their meeting with Kersti Kaljulaid, saying that she left a better impression with him than the previous candidates had. She gave “precise and comprehensive answers to certainly difficult questions”, and her confidence, courage, and fresh outlook on things were commendable, Sooäär wrote.
The Social Democratic Party’s group confirmed that Kaljulaid had all of their 15 votes, and that the 15 MPs’ signed nomination papers were ready to be handed in. Chairman of SDE parliamentary group Andres Anvelt said that in his opinion, Kaljulaid was perfectly ready to become one of the most important personalities in Estonia.
The Free Party’s Andres Herkel said that Kaljulaid was “very well prepared” to take office. “We got very good answers to our questions,” Herkel said after his group met with the candidate, though he left it to every one of the party’s eight MPs to make up their own mind whether or not to also nominate her.
Free Party MP Monika Haukanõmm pointed out that Kaljulaid’s positions were very similar to those of the previous conservative candidate, independent Allar Jõks.
The Pro Patria Union (IRL) also expressed support for Kaljulaid’s candidacy. Chairman of IRL’s parliamentary group Priit Sibul said that the party was behind her and had also decided to nominate her.
The Estonian Conservative People’s Party (EKRE) announced that they wouldn’t work against Kaljulaid’s candidacy, but left it open whether or not their MPs would support her.