The Estonian parliament did not select a new president in the first round of voting. The only candidate for this office, the current director of the National Museum, Alar Karis for the presidential nomination, missed five MPs. His candidacy will be voted again on Tuesday.
63-year-old Alar Karis received 63 votes on Monday. To obtain the required two-thirds majority, 68 votes were needed in the 101-seat Estonian parliament (Riigikogu). A second round of voting is scheduled for Tuesday. On that day, parliamentarians will also be able to present other candidacies. So far, before the first round, no other person – including the current president Kersti Kaljulaid, who declares his will to continue – has managed to collect the required 21 votes of deputies to be nominated.
Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, leader of the liberal Estonian Reform Party (CoE), has announced that she will support the current director of the National Museum throughout the election process. The second coalition party, Centrum (EKK), former prime minister Juri Ratas, is to do the same. Both parties have a total of 59 votes.
The Estonian parliament will vote on Tuesday
If there are no official opponents, Karis’s candidacy will be the only one to be voted on in the second and possibly third round, which is also scheduled for Tuesday. If the parliamentary vote is unsuccessful, the election process will move to the level of the Electoral College, composed of parliamentarians and representatives of local administration (208 votes in total).
Karis announced that he would not agitate for his candidacy before the next rounds. – If party members have questions for me, I will answer them, but I will not call the deputies or indicate how to vote – he said, quoted by the Estonian radio ERR. A meeting with Karis before the next rounds was announced on Monday evening by one of the opposition groups – the Social Democratic Party of Estonia (SDE), with 10 deputies.
Main photo source: PAP / EPA / TOMS KALNINS