EKRE looking to change presidential perquisites act

Presidential lectern.
Presidential lectern. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

The opposition Conservative People's Party (EKRE) wants to amend the President of the Republic Official Perquisites Act by adding a clause that the president will lose their occupational pension and other benefits if they run for or are elected to the Riigikogu or the European Parliament or become a government member.

EKRE MP Anti Poolamets said, after handing over the bill, that the taxpayer should not have to pay hundreds of thousands of euros a year to support a former president who is actively participating in politics and receiving a salary from the state.

"The salary of an MP or member of government comfortably facilitates a former president's representative functions in which case additional benefits no longer have merit. We also want to avoid, in the interests of political culture, a situation where said benefits would be used to finance domestic political activity," Poolamets added.

Current legislation prescribes various benefits for former presidents, including residential and working premises compensation, an adviser and personal assistant, official car and expenses. The presidential occupation pension is 75 percent of former salary.

Poolamets said that the president's perks would be restored after their status as MP, MEP or minister ends.

There has been speculation in the press in recent weeks over former President Kersti Kaljulaid joining the non-parliamentary Eesti 200 party and running in the 2023 Riigikogu elections. Kaljulaid's former office chief Tiit Riisalo and PR adviser Taavi Linnamäe have recently confirmed joining the party. The former president has not decided whether to go into active politics yet.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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