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MEP Urmas Paet ready to run for president in Estonia

MEP Urmas Paet (Reform/ALDE).
MEP Urmas Paet (Reform/ALDE). Source: (Siim Lõvi/ERR)

Former longtime Minister of Foreign Affairs and current member of Estonia’s ruling Reform Party MEP Urmas Paet has confirmed that if the requisite minimum of 21 MPs wished to nominate him, he would be prepared to run for President of Estonia in the upcoming 2016 elections.

Paet told online news portal Delfi that he considered both internal and foreign policy important, and emphasized that these two areas of importance not be pitted against one another when it came to the role of the country’s president.

“I think I know Estonian society as well as the principle concerns and difficulties of the present time sufficiently well,” said Paet. “I also have foreign policy experience.” Paet was Estonia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 2005-2014.

In Paet’s opinion, one of the roles of the president was to strive for a more integrated and unified Estonian society. “This also pertains to the fact that while these two communities, Estonian and Russian, do live side by side, they live separately in so much [of their lives] as well,” the MEP continued. “There should more such coexistence.”

On April 16, former vice president of the European Commission an honorary chairman of the Reform Party Siim kallas announced that, if nominated it August, he would be prepared to run for President of Estonia. Since then, author and diplomat Jaak Jõerüüt as well as current Minister of Foreign Affairs Marina Kaljurand have followed Kallas’ lead and publicly confirmed their own respective intentions to run for president.

In order for a candidate to be nominated for the Estonian presidency in the Riigikogu, they must receive the votes of at least 21 of the Riigikogu’s 101 total members.

In order to win the presidency by Riigikogu election, a candidate must receive the support of a total of 68 MPs.

The 2016 presidential election in Estonia is to take place on August 29 of this year.

Editor: Editor: Aili Sarapik

Source: BNS

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