President Ilves: Put an end to this mess and discuss what really matters
President Toomas Hendrik Ilves wrote on Facebook after the Riigikogu’s third failed attempt to elect his successor that what mattered for the election wasn’t candidates’ ability to crack jokes or paint pictures, but the experience and world view that made them a good fit for the presidency.
Ilves said in his post that the presidential campaigns had turned into an embarrassing mess, and that in the weeks left he would like to see a serious and substantial debate on important topics, such as domestic politics as well as foreign and security policy issues.
This isn’t the first time Ilves complained about this year’s campaigns, which have been dominated by rather shallow media events, such as candidates painting pictures and playing their favourite music on the radio. Very little debate has taken place about topics that concern the personalities and character of the candidates directly.
Even in the presidential TV debate on Sunday evening, domestic policy issues were discussed, the candidates’ opinions on which could easily have been deduced from statements they made earlier. Very little came up that was directly concerned with the candidates’ ability to deal with the challenges of the office of President of Estonia.