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Statement of the President of the Republic on March 31, 2006
31.03.2006


Sharply escalating power struggle in Tallinn causes deepening concern over development of democracy in Estonia. Within the framework of an honest and acceptable political competition there is no place for attempts to set a price for a politician and to bargain over the price in order to persuade someone into changing sides.

An attempt to change the outcome of democratic elections through unethical means shows that not all politicians respect the choice of people and are ready to recognize the outcome of elections. As there have been talks about the “price” in connection of several politicians and about earlier incidences when politicians have been paid for changing sides, it is not any longer a regrettable exception. This is an indication of a very dangerous practice – use of means that are definitely unacceptable in a democratic society and that all political parties and electors in Estonia, but also relevant agencies should be worried about

Two elections are expected to take place in Estonia in the near future, and it is in the common interest of people and hopefully also of all political parties that those elections would be carried out in an honest and legally correct way. The politicians who get their mandate from the election have to exercise their power with similar honesty and transparency. Secret deals and attempts of bribing have definitely no place among the means used in ethical politics. The spread of such practice will discredit and weaken our state government, and will lead our democracy into a serious crisis that endangers our nationhood. Unethical means used in exercising power will destroy the people’s trust towards their state.

As an Estonian citizen and the President of the Republic I am deeply concerned over this situation. I believe that the law enforcement authorities will give a competent and fair assessment of what is happening. I call on everyone to give his or her utmost to safeguard democracy in our state. Consideration for the people’s feeling of justice and maintaining their trust are too valuable to be exchanged for power and benefits.


Arnold Rüütel


© 2006 Office of the President l tel: + 372 631 6202 l fax: + 372 631 6250 l sekretarvpk.ee