MEP Marina Kaljurand (SDE) has decided to stand as a candidate in the forthcoming Riigikogu elections. Kaljurand said, that she would be prepared to leave the European Parliament to take up a seat in the Riigikogu if that is what voters want.
"Yesterday, I had a consultation with my party colleagues. Let me say right away, that it was not an easy decision. Basically, I have always been against 'decoy' candidates (For instance, MEPs running in local elections as vote-gatherers, with no intention of taking up their seat should they win one, not least as this contravenes electoral rules – ed.). And that's why I didn't stand in the local elections," Kaljurand said.
"But, having thought it all through for myself, I do not rule out returning from Brussels, if that is what the voters want. But, in the current situation, where support for the Social Democrats could be stronger, I think it is also my duty to come to the aid of my party," Kaljurand said.
"If that is what the voters want, and if the elections show it, then yes, I am ready to come back from Brussels. Yes, I am ready to work in the Riigikogu. Why it took me longer to think about it (is because) I won an exceptionally large mandate in the European elections. I don't think that I should play around with that (by saying) – 'today I want it, tomorrow I don't want it.' However, if the voters want to see me in the Riigikogu, then I will respect that and come back from the European Parliament," Kaljurand said.
While Kaljurand now appears likely to stand as the SDE's front-runner in the Harju and Rapla counties electoral district, the party is yet to confirm its final candidate lists.
Kaljurand also discussed the current state of the SDE with party chair Lauri Läänemets, with a focus on ways to break out of a situation, where the party finds itself firmly positioned as second choice for a large number of voters.
"(We discussed) how to move from being second choice to first and how to improve our level of support before the elections. I understand that ratings don't determine everything, but you also have to look at the polls and consider what you can do to move from being a party that is well supported as a second choice, to one that is more people's first choice," Kaaljurand said.
Editor: Michael Cole