After more than two hours of debates Wednesday, the Reform Party's leadership settled on honorary chairman Siim Kallas as the party's official presidential candidate.
Support for Kallas was consensual, party leader and Prime Minister Taavi Roivas said.
Present at the board meeting were all three presidential hopefuls - Kallas, MEP Urmas Paet and Foreign Minister Marina Kaljurand. Kaljurand announced at the end of July she would not stand in the Riigikogu but would be ready to come in as a candidate if the election moved on to the electoral college.
Leader of Estonia's ruling Reform Party, Prime Minister Taavi Roivas, said after Wednesday's meeting of the party board that he hopes the party's presidential candidate Siim Kallas will be supported by other parties in parliament but if the election process were to move on to the electoral college everyone would have the opportunity to back Marina Kaljurand's candidacy.
«The Reform Party took the initiative at the board level already back in the spring and urged parliamentary parties to find common ground with the aim of electing the best possible president for Estonia in the Riigikogu. This wish of ours has not changed and our presidential candidate in the parliamentary ballot rounds is Siim Kallas,» Roivas said.
It goes without saying that the Reform Party's interest is to find support for Kallas among other parties, but the party cannot automatically assume, let alone demand, it, Roivas said. If the parliament fails to elect the next president, it will be possible for the Reform Party to back Marina Kaljurand in the electoral college, he added.
The board of the party will if necessary gather before each round of voting to discuss the results of talks with other parties represented in parliament, Roivas said.