Raidla turns down presidential offer

Jüri Raidla. PHOTO: Madis Sinivee

Even though the first justice minister of re-independent Estonia Jüri Raidla was the ruling coalition’s favorite for president, the former politician turned down the offer.

Raidla said that Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) and President of the Riigikogu Jüri Ratas (Center) asked him to consider running for president two weeks ago. Raidla said on Monday afternoon that he does not plan to take them up on the offer.

He gave as the reason lack of foreign policy expertise. “I have been a media and information consumer, while I have never addressed foreign policy issues,” Raidla explained.

The former justice minister is convinced that the office of president is not one where you can spend the first six months learning the trade. “The Kadriorg Palace is not a lecture hall for lifelong learning. This also means that the president of the republic needs to be able to perform all the functions of the head of state on a high level from the first,” Raidla said, adding that he would like to see Jaak Aaviksoo as president.