SDE chair wants Marina Kaljurand to run as his replacement in February

MEP Marina Kaljurand (SDE).
MEP Marina Kaljurand (SDE). Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

MEP Marina Kaljurand said the current chairman of the Social Democratic Party (SDE) Indrek Saar and several former party leaders have asked her to run for the position of party chair. Kaljurand said she has no intention to run.

"No official proposal has been made, but some board members have approached me to tell me to run for chairwoman. Former party chairmen have also come to me with the proposal, we have also talked about it with the current chairman (Indrek Saar - ed) and I have spoke about it with other party members," Kaljurand told ERR on Wednesday.

Kaljurand said she does not want to point out who she talked to about running for chairwoman.

Saar announced on Wednesday that he is not planning on running for party chairman again after his mandate ends next February. Riina Sikkut and Lauri Läänemets have thrown their hats in the ring.

"I have stated it very clearly and honestly to my party members that I will only go for positions where I am convinced that I want to do it, can do it and that I have all the necessary prerequisites and knowledge. I have been a member of the Social Democratic Party for more than four years now. Yes, I know the people in our organization to some degree, but I do not think I am the correct person for that seat," the MEP said.

The former foreign minister and presidential candidate did not wish to publish who she has spoken with, but noted that she does not support some of the positions Lauri Läänemets, who has announced he would like to run for the position, stands for.

"I think the Social Democrats should not only be a party for the working class, but the Social Democrats should stand for all social topics," Kaljurand said.

Three former SDE chairmen - Eiki Nestor, Ivari Padar and Jevgeni Ossinovski - told ERR they know nothing about Kaljurand possibly running for party chairwoman.

Current chairman Indrek Saar admitted that he has spoken to the MEP about running. "Indeed, I have spoken to Marina about it, she should think about it," the party chair confirmed.

"Marina Kaljurand is such a bright politician. If she was willing to be a leader for the Social Democratic Party, I think there would be many people that would support her," Saar said.

MEP and former SDE chairman Sven Mikser did not say if he was one of the former party leaders to speak with Kaljurand about running for chairwoman. "I will not comment on my proposals anywhere at this point, I certainly will not run. We have a lot of good people who could at least present their vision of where the Social Democratic Party should go from here," Mikser said.

This summer, SDE decided against choosing a new party chairman because of the local government elections, which wrapped up last week, and will instead choose new leadership in February next year.


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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