Gallery: Independent MP Raimond Kaljulaid joins Social Democratic Party ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

MP Raimond Kaljulaid, who quit the Centre Party this spring, announced on Thursday that he was joining the Social Democratic Party (SDE).

Speaking at a press conference, Kaljulaid said that he had taken a look around and met with representatives of several political parties and reached the conclusion that it is the SDE that can best handle the building up of a free and prosperous Estonia.

SDE chairman Indrek Saar welcomed Kaljulaid's decision to join, adding that it is the party's job to ensure that economic growth reaches all of Estonia's people.

Kaljulaid also signed his application to join the SDE before the press.

The SDE now has 11 votes in the 101-seat Riigikogu, although by law, Kaljulaid cannot officially join the SDE parliamentary group.

Kaljulaid: I am a liberal

"On a left-right scale, I'm fairly exactly in the middle, and I am a liberal," Kaljulaid told ERR in an interview in September. "And so it isn't difficult for me to find things in common with several parties represented in the Riigikogu as well as those not."

The MP resigned from the Centre Party in April over the latter's decision to invite the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) to join its government coalition.

Still yet a member of the Centre Party, Kaljulaid was elected to the Riigikogu on March 3 with 7,303 votes in the Haabersti-Põhja-Tallinn-Kristiine electoral district. He earned 20,640 votes as an independent candidate in the European Parliament elections in May, ranking fifth individually, but was not elected.

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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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