Parties divided on presidential prospects

Chairman of the Social Democrats and Minister of Health and Labour Jevgeni Ossinovski (ERR)
4/14/2016 2:40 PM
Category: News

The chairman of the Social Democratic Party told Päevaleht that no Reform Party candidate had his party's support yet, and Kaljurand noted that she wasn't planning on attending Kallas' announcement speech on Saturday as she had not been invited. The presidential ifs and buts continue.

Minister of Health and Labour Jevgeni Ossinovski (SDE), who is also the chairman of the Social Democrats, said to Eesti Päevaleht that the impression that the Reform Party’s eventual presidential candidate already had support in the other parties was wrong. In his opinion, all the parties in the Riigikogu should try to find a candidate together, and get this candidate elected in parliament.

“I think it’s in the interest of all the parties, perhaps with the exception of EKRE [the Estonian Conservative People’s Party], that the Riigikogu does its job and elects the President,” Ossinovski said. He would like to see a candidacy that transcends party lines, like Lennart Meri’s did in the 1990s.

He went on to confirm that the Social Democrats would definitely have a candidate of their own as well. Without the Social Democrats, Ossinovski said, the Riigikogu couldn’t elect a president, as Reform and Center couldn’t possibly agree on a candidate.

MEP Indrek Tarand (independent/Greens) brought up the topic of a Social Democratic candidate for the presidency in an interview with weekly “LP” earlier this month. Tarand referred to a rumor that Reform’s Rain Rosimannus, seen as the party’s power broker, had offered his party’s support to President of the Riigikogu Eiki Nestor.

Kallas didn’t invite Kaljurand to his announcement speech

Foreign Minister Marina Kaljurand (independent) is the public’s unofficial favorite and has been mentioned as a potential candidate of the Reform Party as well. This would pit her against party dinosaur and former EU commissioner Siim Kallas, who is getting ready to kick off his own campaign in Estonia Concert Hall this Saturday.

Kaljurand said in ETV’s “Ringvaade” on Wednesday that she wasn’t planning to attend Kallas’ speech - as she hadn’t been invited. “I understand the event is by invitation, I haven’t received one, and I won’t go to the event as a complete stranger,” Kaljurand said.

She added that she didn’t take it as a gesture of any kind. Everyone had the right to invite whoever they wanted to their events, and she wished Kallas luck, Kaljurand said.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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