Social Democrats: Savisaar wants to become president

15.02.2013, 10:19

Commenting the bill proposed by the country’s largest opposition party Centre Party to introduce direct presidential elections in Estonia, Eiki Nestor, MP for Social Democrats, says that the real reason behind the proposal is that the party’s chairman Edgar Savisaar wants to become president.

“Savisaar understands that as long as it is in the hands of the parliament and the electoral body, he would never become president. I cannot see any other reasons,” said the MP.

Priit Toobal, general secretary of the Centre Party, said that the reason why the party’s 21 MPs tabled the proposal for direct presidential elections now is the results of opinion polls which show that the majority of respondents support direct elections.

“This is also what was proposed by former presidents Lennart Meri and Arnold Rüütel,” added Toobal.

The explanatory note to the bill said that Estonian people deserve to elect the president directly and it would be in line with the expectations of the society, enabling people to be involved in making nationally important decisions and bringing people closer to the state.

Under the bill, presidential candidates could be put up by political parties and at least 10,000 citizens who have voting rights. The candidate who received more than half of the vote would be elected the president.

Direct presidential elections are held in Austria, Ireland, Finland, France and the Czech Republic.