Today, on October 3, the Estonian parliament has elected Kersti Kaljulaid as president. So, the election saga that lasted for more than a month has come to an end, EADaily’s correspondent reports.
To remind, Estonia had been trying to elect the president since the end of August. Three rounds of the elections in the parliament failed and the right to elect the country’s leader to the Electoral College summoned on September 24. The body consisted of 335 members: 101 MPs and 234 representatives of local governance elected by local MPs by September 17. However, the fourth attempt failed too. After that leading presidential nominees Siim Kallas and Allar Jõks refused to participate in the election campaign.
Last week, the Council of Elders of the Estonian parliament suggested that Kersti Kaljulaid, a politician not widely known before, should be proposed at presidential nominee. She agreed and soon the MPs collected 90 votes in support of her candidature. Kersti Kaljulaid was born in Tartu on Dec 30, 1969. She graduated from school in 1987.In 1992, she graduated from Faculty of Biology of Tartu University. In 2001, she got a Master’s Degree in business administration. In 1998-99, she worked at Hansapank Markets, banking investments department, then she became economic advisor of then-premier Mart Laar. In 2002, she was appointed the director of the Iru Power Plant (Eesti Energia).
Since May 2004, Kaljulaid has been the representative of Estonia in the European Court of Auditors. She was in charge of control methods for annual reports. Since 2011, she is the chairperson of the board of the University of Tartu.
From 2001 to 2004, she was a member of the conservative Pro Patria Union, and its successor, the Pro Patria and Res Publica Union has proposed her as a presidential nominee. In September 2016, she was elected as head of the Development Monitoring Advisory Board at the Chancellery of the Estonian Parliament.
Kersti Kaljulaid has four children. Her husband, Georgi-Rene Maksimovski, now is officially unemployed. He is allegedly involved in some “secret service” the newly-elected president is refusing to talk of. Estonian media suppose he is working for the intelligence.
On October 2, the Estonian election commission registered Kersti Kaljulaid as the only candidate at the first round of voting at the parliament. On October 3 she remained the only candidate, so she was elected. To become president, she needed 68 votes at minimum, while 81 MPs voted for her which made her the first-ever female president in Estonia.