Presidential vote delayed to 24th September
Following three rounds of voting on Monday and Tuesday this week no winner has emerged from Estonia’s presidential election.
The election for the post, which is largely ceremonial, takes place within parliament but requires two-thirds of the vote (68 votes) in the 101 seat Riigikogu. There were four candidates standing in the first round but none had achieved the required majority by the third round.
In the next round of voting on 24th September Siim Kallas of the Reform Party and Mailis Reps of the Centre Party will automatically go through having secured 42 and 26 votes respectively in the third round. A candidate needs 21 members of the Electoral College to nominate them. Minister of Foreign Affairs, Marina Kaljurand, may well stand in the 24th September vote and opinion polls suggest that the people would vote for her. She takes 22% of the vote to Kallas’ 17% and Reps’ 3%.
In the 24th September vote the Electoral College is enlarged to the parliamentarians plus representatives of the country’s local government. In total there will be 335 members of the Electoral College and a simple majority (or 168 votes) are needed for a candidate to win.
Incumbent President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, having served two terms, is not eligible to run for re-election. His term of office runs out at the beginning of October.