Paet Not Ruling Out Running for Party Chairman
Foreign Minister Urmas Paet, member of the Reform Party’s leadership board, has not ruled out running for the chairman of the party, even though he considers Siim Kallas, a former Prime Minister and the current European Transport Commissioner, a good candidate for both leading the party and the government.
“I would certainly give it serious thought,” Paet told uudised.err.ee when asked about his candidacy.
However, he added that he would support Siim Kallas’ nomination, calling him a “very experienced and strong candidate."
Current Prime Minister Andrus Ansip has announced he will step down after the 2015 parliamentary elections. The coalition is yet to agree on the next Estonian commissioner, but the media has speculated that Ansip could be that person.
Fellow Reform Party member and former minister Meelis Atonen said he thinks the switch between Kallas and Ansip could take place within in a month and would not affect the coalition.
Finance Minister Jürgen Ligi told uudised.err.ee that commenting on candidates is premature since no one has officially announced their candidacy yet. However, he did rule out running for the chairman position himself.
According to a survey commissioned by the weekly Eesti Ekspress, Paet was preferred by 29 percent of a representative survey sample of the electorate. Siim Kallas’ daughter, MP Kaja Kallas was second with 25 percent, followed by her father Siim Kallas, with 18 percent.