January 24, 2022

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A strange situation before the elections in Estonia: nothing like this has happened yet in the country's history

A strange situation before the elections in Estonia: nothing like this has happened yet in the country’s history

The president in Estonia is elected by parliament. He plans to vote on the country’s new president on Monday, August 30. The term of office of the current Estonian president, Kristi Kaljulaid, ends on October 10. So far, the only candidate in the elections is the director of the Estonian National Museum, Alar Karis, who was nominated for the elections by the two ruling parties – the Estonian Reform Party (ER) and the Estonian Wednesday Party (EK). Candidates for the election can be named until Saturday evening.

“Elections with only one candidate belong to the Soviet era. It’s immoral but strangely legal.” said former Estonian defense minister and diplomat Jacques Eurot. There are 101 members of the Estonian parliament, and for Karis to become president, you need to get votes from at least 68 members. The ruling coalition includes 59 members of Parliament. In the vote, Karis must have the support of at least nine opposition politicians.

Estonia faces three rounds of voting

The first round of voting is scheduled to take place on Monday and the next two rounds will take place on Tuesday. If the president is not elected during these three rounds, a special election commission will be formed to vote on the new head of state again in September.

According to the Estonian constitution, the president has a primarily representative role. However, the Estonian president is also the commander-in-chief of the Estonian armed forces, formally appointing members of the government and signing laws that he can also veto.

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The current sole candidate for the position of future president, Alar Karis, was born on March 26, 1958. He studied molecular genetics and biology, previously working as rector of the Estonian University of Natural Sciences and later at the University of Tartu. Since 2013, he has held the position of state comptroller, and since 2017 he has been director of the Estonian National Museum, according to Interfax.