Center Party supporting Kallas rather than Jõks
Chairman of the Social Democratic Party, Jevgeni Ossinovski, said to ERR’s Indrek Treufeld and Rain Kooli during an interview on the side of the ongoing election that Center Party chairman Edgar Savisaar had worked to direct votes away from the party’s own candidate, Mailis Reps, towards Reform’s Siim Kallas, which he said came “rather unexpected”.
If this should mean that the Center Party would now come down on the side of Siim Kallas in the second round, this would certainly influence the outcome, Ossinovski added.
Party officials confirmed this. Chairwoman of the Center Party’s parliamentary group, Kadri Simson, said to ERR that Savisaar wanted the party to support Siim Kallas in the second round. The party decided to let its electors vote freely.
According to Simson, Kallas as well as Jõks have supporters in the Center Party.
According to Mailis Reps, who returned in the second round to vote in her capacity as MP, there has been no horse trading going on behind the scenes, and that they had met with Siim Kallas as well as Allar Jõks. Reps confirmed that Edgar Savisaar had made it very clear that he supported Siim Kallas, but also agreed with Simson that Jõks could hope for Center Party support also.
The party’s secretary general, Oudekki Loone, told Baltic News Service earlier on Saturday that Kallas was the more suitable candidate to the Center Party. She believes that most of their electors would in the end vote in Kallas’ favor.
Loone has criticized Allar Jõks before. On Aug. 13 she told BNS that she didn’t believe Jõks could do the president’s work properly considering his blind spots in matters of gender. Jõks had come under fire after he made a sexist joke at the expense of Center Party presidential candidate Mailis Reps during a public debate.