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Ossinovski wants Kaljurand to lead SDE in European elections

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

Speaking in conjunction with an announcement by the extended board of the Social Democratic Party (SDE) to conduct an internal poll to determine the SDE ticket for the upcoming European Parliament elections, party chairman Jevgeni Ossinovski proposed giving the ticket's top spot to Marina Kaljurand.

The SDE's pre-election manifesto and list of nine candidates are to be endorsed at a pre-election party meeting on 5 April, spokespeople for the party said on Wednesday.

"Marina has always worthily represented the Estonian people, regardless of whether in Moscow during the difficult times surrounding the Bronze Night, or later on in Washington, where her first duty on the job was to open the [re-established] Washington Estonian School," Mr Ossinovski said, endorsing the former ambassador and minister for the Social Democrats' top spot.

"She is a wise politician with a big heart whose experience stands to benefit us the most in Europe," he added.

Kaljurand, whose previous jobs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had included those of director of the International Treaties Division, director general of the Legal Department and deputy secretary general for foreign economic relations and development aid, served as Ambassador to Russia from 2007-2008 and Ambassador to the United States, Canada and Mexico from 2011-2014.

She thereafter served as deputy secretary general for political affairs from 2014-2015 and as Minister of Foreign Affairs until running unsuccessfully for president in 2016.

European Parliament elections will be held from 23-26 May.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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