Reform torn by Kallas v Kaljurand race

Marina Kaljurand ja Indrek Tarand.

PHOTO: Liis Treimann

By sending out invitations for official opening event for presidential campaign three weeks in advance, team of Reform honorary chairman Siim Kallas was racing to get ahead of helpers of the other favourite, team of foreign minister Marina Kaljurand.

These past months, both have been very active. Mr Kallas has participated in numerous events and charities.

Besides being foreign minister, Ms Kaljurand has travelled the nation and claims to have accumulated huge popular support. According to data available to Postimees, several officials at the ministry have been involved in her arrangements and setting up meetings.

Kallas raced ahead

On Monday, a statue of again-independent Estonia’s first President Lennart Meri was unveiled at foreign ministry as a private gift. Ms Kaljurand posed right beside it, for photographers. Several high level politicians have told Postimees the minister was in readiness to proclaim she’d join the race to become President as well.  

As Team Kallas got a wind of that, they sprinted ahead to send out invitations to their event. It being important who grabs the initiative.

Ms Kaljurand denies the allegations and says she is waiting to be nominated in accordance to law. That would be a proposal by 21 Riigikogu members of 21 members of electoral body.  

Inside of Reform, they are admitting a split while they used to stand as one for Ms Kaljurand. They say the «old timers» now see Mr Kallas as the only option.  

Prime Minister on standby

In its Monday article, Postimees was presumptuous by claiming Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas supports Mr Kallas. In reality, he has not taken a stand and will go by public opinion.

As revealed by Eesti Päevaleht/Turu-uuringute AS poll published yesterday, Ms Kaljurand has conquered the heart of the nations by being favoured by 31 percent of respondents. To be followed by Edgar Savisaar (15 percent) and Mr Kallas and MEP Indrek Tarand (both 10 percent).