Estonian Minister of Economy considers his running for president

  • 2006-06-09
  • By TBT staff
TALLINN - Edgar Savisaar, the chairman of the Estonian Center Party on June 8, shrugged off speculations that he may emerge as one of the main contenders in the election of the Estonian president early this fall.

"I consider the likelihood of my running as extremely small," the minister of economy, standing in for the prime minister who is currently in a working-visit in Reykjavik, said at a government press conference.

There were rumors among the opponents and the media that Savisaar may eventually join the presidential race. However, the Center Party did not put Savisaar's name on the list of candidates that it put forward at talks with four other parliamentary parties on a common presidential candidate.

"At the same time, it may happen that I'll make my final decision 24 hours before the start of the presidential elections," Savisaar said.

Savisaar dismissed as extremely unlikely the prospect of his running against incumbent President Arnold Ruutel.
"In elections where Ruutel and Savisaar are in the running, someone third will win," Savisaar stressed.
"Arnold Ruutel's announcement on June 7 that he is ready to contend for a second term, but only if the task of electing the president shifts to an electoral college, had changed things for all parties, including the Center Party, Savisaar said, adding that the Center Party will continue to take part in efforts to find a common candidate of five parties at the roundtable, but will proceed from the interest of its voters when the decision has to be made.

Referring to two surveys of popular approval published earlier this week, Savisaar said Ruutel enjoyed very broad support.
"The president's been pounded by the media since February, yet the surveys reveal a decline of no more than five percent in his rating. This shows that broad support exists for him," Savisaar said.