Ligi: Cross-party presidential candidate desirable, supporting Jõks, Helme, Reps out of the question
Deputy chairman of Estonia's Reform Party and Minister of Education and Research, Jürgen Ligi, is in favor of finding a cross-party candidate after the first ballot round of the upcoming presidential election, but won’t support Jõks, Helme, or Reps.
If the first ballot round shouldn’t produce the next head of state, the parties would need to find a joint candidate that honors Estonia’s core values, Ligi said in an interview with daily Eesti Päevaleht.
“Although the parties don’t have much to gain there, Estonia has a lot to lose if we look at recent statements of the candidates,” he added.
According to Ligi, the president's role is most important in the field of values, foreign communication, and security policy. And there, several candidates did not meet the requirements.
In Ligi’s view, Mart Helme, chairman of the Conservative People's Party (EKRE), is against change and western values, and tended to use the same populist means as the Kremlin.
Allar Jõks, a former chancellor of justice, has said that as president he would refuse to give his assent to laws he does not like, which Ligi thinks is a dangerous position.
Speaking about Mailis Reps, the Center Party's presidential hopeful, Ligi said that she didn’t even have her own party’s full support.
This year’s presidential election will take place in the Riigikogu on Aug. 29. If the members of parliament can’t agree on a candidate in two ballot rounds plus a run-off, the election is postponed, and the task of choosing Estonia’s next head of state passed on to an electoral college consisting of MPs as well as representatives of the country’s parishes.