In Estonia, citizens aren’t involved in presidential elections. Rather the parliament votes for the office as they wish. Kersti Kaljulaid was recently inaugurated as the fifth president of Estonia.

The presidency of Estonia is described as a ceremonial position without real power. However, the previous presidents have all had important roles or stories regarding Estonia’s independence. Meri the intellectual of independence, Rüütel a long serving politician under Soviet rule, and Ilves who represented an Estonia reaching beyond its borders while mindful of its heritage. All three, I believe, were just what Estonia needed in its specific phase of (second) adolescence.

So if the legacies of Meri, Rüütel, and Ilves are respectively Inspire, Legitimize, Contend, then how will Kaljulaid, whose quick summary in the press is generally “EU accountant,” continue?

One suspects “Capitalize”, which may indeed be just what Estonia needs at this point.

Kalulaid first ran and won as the sole candidate after three rounds of votes for other candidates failed. She was, I presume, an unobjectionable alternate candidate to end the embarrassment of repeated deadlocked elections.

Here’s hoping this unplanned candidate surprises us all.

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