On Monday the Estonian Parliament will start presidential elections. One of the three candidates – the opposition Mailis reps stands for good neighborly relations with Russia. In case of failure of a vote in Parliament, the head of Estonia will choose the electoral College that includes representatives of counties. According to the party REP, on Board she has a good chance to win.
On Sunday, the election Commission of Estonia has registered three candidates for voting in the Parliament, including a Deputy from the main opposition force – the party of the Center, Mailis Reps. In his election campaign she promised, in particular, in the case of election to organize in Estonia summit meeting of the US and Russia.
“Reps – a pragmatist who understands that the security of Estonia depends on relations with Russia”
“My purpose as President of the Republic to invite to their country for a single table of talks between the U.S. and Russia to turn over a new page in international relations,” said Reps.
Reps promised to work actively to improve relations with Russia. “We don’t need a head of state, who at every opportunity is opposed by the Eastern neighbor. We need a head of state whose goal is the creation and maintenance of good neighbourly relations. Therefore, I deem it necessary and the ratification of the border Treaty between Estonia and Russia” – quoted by the reps to “Interfax”.
Meanwhile, the ruling Reformist and Social democratic party decided to nominate a common candidate – the speaker of Parliament Eiki Nestor. The third applicant was counsel Allar jõks, is nominated from the party the Union of Fatherland and Republic and Free party of Estonia.
The fate of the President will be decided in the counties
On Saturday, during the debate between presidential candidates on Russian-language Radio 4, reps expressed concern about the small number of Russian inhabitants of the country were present at the presidential reception on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the restoration of independence of the Republic. According to her, there were invited only “three and a half people of the Russian society”.
“If the new President is President of all the people he should invite to holiday receptions of all members of society,” said Reps. She noted that the may presidential receptions need to be different regions to all living in Estonia felt that this is our festival”.
We will remind, in Estonia, the head of state for a period of five years, elected by the Parliament. The powers of the incumbent President Toomas Hendrik Ilves expire in the fall, he has no right to be elected for the third time. If the Parliament fails to choose a candidate in three rounds of voting, September 24, will convene a panel of electors, consisting of the 101 members of Parliament and 234 representatives of local communities (counties).
If Nestor fails in Parliament, the ruling coalition promised to put on Board of another protege, the former Chairman of the European Commission, honorary Chairman of the Reform party Siim Kallas.
To begin relations with Russia with a clean slate
“The advantage Mailis reps is that she was a pragmatist who understands that the security of Estonia depends on relations with Russia, and has in its baggage a sharp anti-thesis, in contrast to competitors. As President, Mailis will be able to begin relations with Russia with a clean slate,” hopes colleague reps in the faction of the centrists Michael stalnuhin.
“When he was Minister of education she did a lot to preserve the Russian-speaking education in Estonia. Unfortunately, with the change of government in 2007, much was lost”, – the Deputy told the newspaper VIEW. Speaking of chances of reps to win stalnuhin also notes that a majority in Parliament no one to collect can not do, and as for the electoral College, there is an important role working with local government, and then, according to Stalnuhhin, reps the chances are fairly good.
Professor of Tallinn University, a political scientist Toomas Alatalu also believes that among all the candidates is Mailis reps is configured to Russia, “the least aggressive”, while the candidate of the Conservative people’s party Mart Helme, who has not been registered with the election, essentially campaigned on anti-Russian rhetoric. “Others speak in a common European spirit. They see Russia as a threat, but still expressed it in a normal tone,” – said the expert.
Alatalo as Stalnuhhin, suggests that Parliament choose the President would not be able and then all will decide the electoral College. “The situation is vague. No one has a direct advantage over others. You can expect that there will be three candidates with approximately equal possibilities”, – said Alatalu the newspaper VIEW, adding that now many people in Estonia call in the future to return only to Parliament the right to choose the President.
Reps attracts Russian-speaking
“I think Mailis reps are sincere in their desires, for example, including to arrange a meeting between the US and Russia, – said the newspaper VIEW, leader of the antifascist Committee of Estonia, Andrey Zarenkov. But the last time I heard from her and things of a different order. For example, it called for reviewing the agreement with her party “United Russia”. On one of meetings with voters, the reps said that will not work with the movement of Russian compatriots in Estonia, because this movement is compromised.”
Zarenkov said that all the candidates one way or another criticize Russia. “Certainly, the increase in the degree of Russophobia – a positive factor for these candidates,” he said. Nevertheless, it reps, according to Zarenkov, as a representative of the Centrist party that is most supported by the Russian population, there is a mandate of trust from Russians, and from those of Estonians, which is a moderate position.
Rayevskaya is waiting in ambush
Meanwhile, as reported in Friday’s edition of “Delphi”, according to a fresh opinion poll, the majority of Estonians (about 36%) in fact would like to see a President candidate who is not nominated -nyneshnego Minister of foreign Affairs Marina Kaljurand. According to a study by Turu-uuringute AS, Marina Kaljurand, and Siim Kallas would like to see on a post of the head of state on 22% and 17% respectively. The three leaders also became the Chairman of the Centrist party, the former mayor of Tallinn Edgar Savisaar. Interestingly, Savisaar want to see the President up to five times more people than the official candidate of his party Mailis reps, writes ERR.
As the newspaper VIEW, in recent months, Kaljurand expressed willingness to run than aroused the murmurings of radical nationalists, is the already mentioned conservative, Mart Helme, said that the President only sees a representative of the titular nation. With particular political claims to Kaljurand they have, because of course she always took extremely critical.
Activities Kaljurand related scandal with the Bronze soldier monument in Central Tallinn, against the transfer of which actively protested the Russian-speaking population in the spring of 2007. The current Minister then headed to Moscow, the Estonian Embassy, which has been picketed by indignant demonstrators. While Kaljurand (nee Raevskaya) always called himself a Russian by nationality, she is married to an Estonian, and Estonian saying that many ordinary citizens of the country unaware of its origins. “The current President, Toomas Hendrik Ilves is also of Russian origin. His grandmother – originally from St. Petersburg, but easier from this Russian-speaking population was not” – said on this occasion, stalnuhin.
Kaljurand not yet appeared in the list of applicants for the post of President. As explained by the scientist Alatalo, she became a victim of the intrigues of inter-party elite, the ruling circles, who from behind the scenes prevented her nomination. The fact that Kaljurand remains non-partisan and even for the nomination for the presidency has so far refused to join one of the ruling parties, although it there touted.
“Different political groups Marina Kaljurand is not adjacent to them, to them she is a stranger. She was just a clerk, an Ambassador to different countries, then suddenly become a Minister. It’s unusual for us. We believed that only politicians can be Ministers, not officials,” – said the expert.
However, the analyst added, Kaljurand, in fact, retained all the chances to run for President, and just waiting in the wings. As Mailis reps, she hoped, most likely, on the electoral College. When elections to the Parliament will end in a fiasco, then she will be able to join in the race, and as an independent figure, not obligated by anything any of the parties.
“For the nomination, she will still need the signature of the 21 members of Parliament, but she can easily type,” – said Alatalu. And then Kaljurand will have to appeal directly to the electors of the counties, taking advantage of its high popularity among ordinary people in Estonia.