Analyst: President aloof from politics in first term

Hans Luik (left) talking to ERR's Marko Reikop at the Presidential reception on Monday. Source: ERR

Media mogul Hans H. Luik has stated his view that current President Kersti Kaljulaid is marking time with regard to the political situation in Estonia, and will only get more embroiled in the political cut and thrust after her first term is over.

Speaking to ERR at the Presidential reception on Monday, Mr. Luik said that ''It was a great speech in the same spirit as was the case with the centennial of independence speech [in February–ed.], but there was no 'hook' similar to the one in the earlier presentation where she talked about the need for us all to have our own space.''

''The President seemed to be more at home at the Estonia 100 singing event than making the speech; politics seems to be a source of discomfort for her for some reason,'' added Mr. Luik.

Hans Luik also argued that the President seems to be aiming to put a dampener on the political campaigning in the run up to the parliamentary elections in March 2019.

''I have a feeling that President Kalujulaid is somehow 'doing a Lennart Meri' [a former President of Estonia noted for his love/hate relationship with the press-ed.] and staying aloof from the general melee ahead of the forthcoming elections, in order to assure a viable coalition,'' Mr. Luik noted.

Not addressing controversial issues head on

When asked if he thought that Ms. Kaljulaid had concerns about the political landscape in Estonia, Mr. Luik responded in the affirmative.

''I'm sure of it,'' he said, pointing towards what he saw as the elephant in the room with regard to recent divisive events on the political landscape in Estonia, that of the abortive plan earlier this year to build a pulp mill on the Emajõgi river in or near Tartu.

''The President conceded that if people really didn't want to go through with the pulp mill, then it's simply a question of thinking things through and using our brains for alternative situations,'' Luik noted.

''However, dodging the issue of such an unsatisfactory situation as the pulp mill saga is something that the President could have been more directly held to account for,'' he added.

''In short, I'm worried that we're living too comfortable a life right now,'' concluded Mr. Luik.

The original interview (in Estonian) is here.

Hans Luik is founder and co-owner of the Ekspress Grupp responsible for baltic media portal Delfi as well Estonian daily Eesti Päevaleht, and weeklies Eesti Ekspress and Maaleht.

Kersti Kaljulaid's first term as Estonian President runs until 2021.

Editor: Andrew Whyte

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