Reform Party leader supports Kersti Kaljulaid second term

President Kersti Kaljulaid (right) with Reform Party leader Kaja Kallas earlier in the year. The president nominated Kallas prime minister following the March general election, but her coalition failed to pass a Riigikogu vote. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

Opposition Reform Party chair Kaja Kallas says she would support President Kersti Kaljulaid getting a second term in office.

"President Kersti Kaljulaid has done her job very well, and I have nothing against her continuing for a second term," Kallas told regional daily Lääne Elu, according to ERR's online news in Estonian.

Kersti Kaljulaid took office in October 2016, having secured a majority of votes at the Riigikogu (a minimum of 68 votes is required at the 101-seat chamber) after she was proposed by the parliament's council of elders – a body made up of representatives from all elected parties (six at the time) plus speaker and deputy speakers of the house. Previous rounds both at the Riigikogu and in the electoral colleges in provincial Estonia had drawn a blank.

Presidents in Estonia have, as in the U.S., four year terms, up to a maximum of two terms consecutively, but they can also serve subsequent terms. Since the Estonian presidential election falls in the autumn, it precedes the U.S. presidential elections by just a few weeks. President Kaljulaid's predecessor, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, held two terms, 2006-2016.

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre) has said he will not be attending the annual presidential evening reception on independence day, February 24. Finance minister Martin Helme (EKRE) has also said he will not attend. This year's end-of-year meeting between president and government was also canceled, with both parties saying they had been unable to find an amenable date. Monday was the president's 50th birthday, with celebrations attended by Arnold Rüütel, president 2001-2006, and deputy speaker of the house Siim Kallas (Reform).


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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