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Statement of the President of the Republic of Estonia on September 5, 2006

It worries me that the presidential campaign is being driven to an impasse. It is regrettable that attempts are being made to split society using demagogic discussions of democracy, mixed with personal attacks against the presidential candidates and discarding essential discussions. Instead of analysing Estonia’s new goals that serve the public interests, the mass media offers assessments and appeals based on emotions. The people, whose interests should be first and foremost taken into account, are left to play a bystander role.

I call upon all participants of the campaign to show respect towards each other, our people and their interests. In our further discussions let us focus on issues that are essential from the viewpoint of the development of our society. In so doing we could avoid damaging the image of Estonia and its institutions both in the eyes of our own people and the outside world.

Herewith I find it necessary to respond to personal attacks towards me and false accusations that have recently appeared in the mass media. It is entirely groundless to associate my activities with the repressions against Johannes Hint. Attentive readers can find proof to that from the documents cited in the press where the accusing titles of the article does not correspond with the content. Archives and the judgement on the real situation of that time indicate that my signature under the cited documents cannot be connected with repression against Johannes Hint but only suggested that the document management at Desintegraator needed to be brought in compliance with the standards in force at that time.

In a totalitarian system special departments were opened to deal with classified documents in every agency that had contacts with the outside world, also in bigger enterprises, higher educational and scientific research institutions. Also Desintegraator belonged to such institutions and the ESSR authorities had no power to change that system. The crimes committed by KGB against persons have certainly no justification. At the time I was working in the Council of Ministers of the ESSR no such actions were taken there – such orders were given from elsewhere.

When taking the oath of conscience I did not hold back anything nor perjure myself. My biography and information about the posts I held during the Soviet time have always been public and available to everyone. I can assure that in no official post I have held I have never acted against the interests of our people nor was I seeking any personal benefit. I have never participated in the persecution of people nor have I damaged the interests of my fellow citizens in any other way. During my long political career I have always tried to work for the good of Estonia and its people.

I still act according to this principle and therefore I gave my consent that my candidacy could be set up for the presidential elections if the Riigikogu lacked the readiness to dissolve dissension. I call upon all political forces, instead of instigating antagonism and confrontation, to look towards the future showing a sense of responsibility and to use all opportunities to confirm that Estonia would not depart or turn back from its current main course.

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