Social Democratic Party not behind Karis as presidential candidate yet

SDE leader Indrek Saar.
SDE leader Indrek Saar. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Social Democratic Party (SDE) chairman Indrek Saar told ERR that the party wishes to discuss the candidacy of Estonian National Museum director Alar Karis with different party members and will announce if they support Karis at a later date.

"We would like to discuss this on a wider scale with the party and also gather public feedback. Only then will we form our position," Saar said. "We will speak to people, certainly discuss it with regional leadership. If necessary, we will also discuss this in the council and among management, but the final decision has to be made by MPs, nobody can tell them what to do."

Saar confirmed that if the party reaches a decision, they will announce it to the public in the coming days. The president elections in the Riigikogu kick off next Monday.

"I can promise that we will not head to the Riigikogu hall with secretive faces. We will let the public know," the party chairman noted,

Karis and SDE Riigikogu group members met on Monday and there were good and bad sides to the discussion, Saar said. "We certainly agree with Karis on his assessment of Jüri Ratas' second government (Center-EKRE-Isamaa). That government damaged Estonia's foreign and security policy interests and division in society increased."

"When it came to corruption, the response was surprisingly diplomatic. To think that the corruption scandals to start the year finished with society saying corruption has no place in politics, you would think that a presidential candidate would give a similar response, but his response was more indirect," the SDE chairman said.

On Sunday, Center and Reform parties pledged their support for Alar Karis, currently the director of the Estonian National Museum. Karis was previously the state auditor-general and has been the rector of two universities: University of Tartu and the Estonian University of Life Sciences.

Reform and Center hold 59 votes. For a president to be elected, at least 68 votes have to be collected in the Riigikogu, which means Alar Karis needs the support of at least one more party - either Isamaa (12 votes) or SDE (11 votes).


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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