Estonian president on Centre Party and own re-election

Estonian president Toomas Hendrik Ilves declared in a TV interview yesterday that he would block a possible entry of the Centre Party into the government after the general elections in 2011. Last week Estonian security police revealed that party leader Savisaar had asked a Russian investor for financial support. According to Ilves this posed a security threat and the Centre Party could not become part of an Estonian government until it condemned and abandoned such practices of party financing. Saavisar, who is also the mayor of Tallinn, rejected calls to resign as he had not committed any crime.

In the same interview, president Ilves said he was ready to run for office again if a party nominated him. His old party – the Social Democrats – already declared their support for Ilves as well as the governing Reform Party. Its junior coalition partner Isamaa ja Res Publica Liit (IRL) has not announced an own candidacy and may support him as well. As, however, a 2/3-majority is needed to elected the president by parliament alone, it is likely that an electoral convention of parliament and municipal representatives has to be convened to elect a president next summer.

A recent poll conducted by TNS Emor among 796 Estonian showed a growing support for the Centre Party (26 percent compared to 23 percent last month) while the governing Reform Party dropped from 46 percent to only 36 percent within the last month. The IRL stagnates at 15 percent.

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