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Arnold Rüütel (born May 10, 1928) is the President of the Republic of Estonia. He was born in Saaremaa, Estonia.

Arnold Rüütel
Arnold Rüütel
In 1949 he graduated from Agricultural College. He worked as an agronome and teacher of agriculture from 1949 to 1957. 1957-1963 he was the head expert of livestock and director of the experimental farm of Estonian Livestock Breeding and Veterinary Institute. 1963 he was appointed the director of Tartu Model Sovkhoz (state farm). At the same time he managed to graduate from Estonian Academy of Agriculture in 1964, obtaining higher education.

1969-1977 Arnold Rüütel was the rector of Estonian Academy of Agriculture. Since 1977 he has held high offices in communist institutions in the Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic. 1983 he was appointed the Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Council (=Head of State) of Estonian SSR. He played a major part in preparation and composition of Estonian declaration of sovereignty that was adopted by the Supreme Soviet on November 16, 1988.

In March 1990 he was re-elected the Chairman of the Supreme Council. Under his leadership the Supreme Council declared Estonia independent on August 20, 1991. He continued in office until October 1992.

Rüütel was a member of the Constitutional Assembly between 1991 and 1992 drafting the new Constitution of the Republic of Estonia; in 1992 he was a candidate for the presidency and received 43% of the vote.

In 1991 he took his doctorate in agriculture. Four years later he was elected the member of the Estonian Parliament (Riigikogu), where he acted as a vice-speaker. 1994-2000 he was also the Chairman of the People's Union of Estonia.

Elected by an electoral college on September 21, 2001, Rüütel was inaugurated as the President of the Republic of Estonia on October 8, 2001.

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Preceded by:
Lennart Meri
President of Estonia
2001–present
Succeeded by:
Current Incumbent

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