SDE chair gives go ahead to MPs to vote for Alar Karis as president

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

Chairman of the opposition Social Democratic Party (SDE) Indrek Saar said after the meeting with the party's Riigikogu group and presidential candidate Alar Karis that he gave the MPs a recommendation to vote for Karis. SDE had previously been lukewarm to the national museum director, who is the coalition's official candidate.

"Most of the Social Democrats thinks that in the current situation, the president should be elected in the Riigikogu, so the majority of us is ready to vote for Karis," Saar told ERR.

Saar specified that the majority should be enough for Karis to get elected on Tuesday.

Saar said the party had had a constructive meeting with Karis. "We were able to discuss the subjects which have been left in the air and on the other hand, remind the candidate that subjects such as equal rights, protecting democracy from extremism, should strongly be in the president's agenda," Saar said.

"We hope that Alar Karis will be a great president for Estonia and we are willing to support him with enough votes," Saar said.

At the same time, Saar expressed regret regarding the fact that the Reform Party made it impossible to elect back Kersti Kaljulaid with running inthe second round of presidential elections.

Saar said that on Monday, electing Karis was the coalition's task.

"The SDE have played with open rules from the beginning, we have been honest. We have said from the beginning that we don't have a consensus [on Karis]," Saar said.

Karis missed out by five votes at Monday's ballot, receiving 63 votes when 68 were needed to be elected president.

Reform and Center have 59 votes together, meaning at least nine votes need to come from the ranks of SDE and Isamaa's MPs for him to become head of state.

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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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