Opinion festival | Party heads debated presidential election and Covid

Parliamentary chairmen debate at the Paide Opinion Festival.
Parliamentary chairmen debate at the Paide Opinion Festival. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

The parliamentary parties' chairmen debate at the Opinion Festival in Paide touched on the presidential election, coronavirus measures, taxes, kindergarten fees, public transport and nationwide broadband.

The debate took place at the annual Opinion Festival in Paide on Friday and was held between Martin Helme (Conservative People's Party), Helir-Valdor Seeder (Isamaa), Jüri Ratas (Center Party), Kaja Kallas (Reform Party) and Indrek Saar (Social Democratic Party).

The debate kicked off on the presidential topic, with heads of parties largely sticking to their previously voiced positions. Jüri Ratas said that presidential candidates would have been found a long time ago had Estonia direct presidential elections.

"I see no problem with the people electing the president today," the Center Party leader said, adding that the party will make a corresponding proposal on August 22. Ratas also pointed to Kaimar Karu as a potential presidential candidate.

Helir-Valdor Seeder said that he kept an eye open in terms of which potential presidential candidate stood out at the Paide Opinion Festival. "I believe Jaak Aaviksoo is a brilliant candidate, while I do not have his consent," Seeder said.

Martin Helme remarked that Estonia cannot have a globalist president and voiced support for EKRE hopeful Henn Põlluaas. Kaja Kallas said that there is no agreement in place for Center to pick the president and that she hopes the coalition will find a candidate sooner than it did last election.

Other topics included tax changes, handling of the coronavirus crisis, free public transport, high-speed broadband and kindergarten place fees.

The debate was moderated by ERR journalists Liisu Lass and Mirjam Mõttus. The Opinion Festival will continue on Saturday.



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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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