Siim Kallas to announce bid for presidency (15)
Former EU commissioner and honorary chairman of the Reform Party Siim Kallas will hold a speech in mid-April where he will announce that he intends to run for president.
The speech is planned for Apr. 16. Invited are representatives of local governments, politicians, businessmen, and opinion leaders, Postimees reported.
The announcement alone won’t make Kallas the Reform Party’s candidate, as this decision is with the party’s leadership.
Several of the leadership’s members would rather make current Minister of Foreign Affairs Marina Kaljurand (independent) the party’s candidate. Kallas’ planned speech is likely going to kick off the race for the presidency, as no one else has announced a candidacy yet.
After the speech, Kallas would like to meet with representatives of the different parties in the Riigikogu.
Kallas said in ERR’s radio news on Monday morning that he didn’t yet have the official support of the Reform Party. “I wouldn’t want it to be decided at this time, either. We need to agree on procedures, how the party will shape its legitimate point of view, which candidate it supports. In that sense, it’s an open question. Really, the candidate introduced by the party needs to have broad enough support. And for this, we need to have an internal vote,” Kallas said.
He added that there were no negotiations with other parties, and that if there were agreements reached now, they would probably change before the election in August.
Current President Toomas Hendrik Ilves’ second term ends in August 2016. The President of Estonia is elected by the Riigikogu for a five-year term. If no candidate reaches a supermajority of two thirds of the Riigikogu’s votes in three balloting rounds, the election is postponed, and a special electoral college convenes. The electoral college is made up of the Riigikogu’s members as well as representatives of Estonia’s local governments.
This year’s presidential election has been scheduled provisionally for Aug. 29 and 30. If the Riigikogu shouldn’t be able to agree on a candidate, Sept. 24 is the date set for the convention of the electoral college.