September 19, 2021

Beyond Going Long

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Estonia faces presidential election with only one candidate

The president will be elected by the parliament of Estonia.

Estonia’s presidential election, which takes place on Monday, has only one candidate so far. Thus, for the first time in its independence history, Estonia faces an election with only one candidate, the Associated Press reports.

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.

“The election with only one candidate dates back to the Soviet era,” he said. “It’s immoral but strangely legal,” said Jacques Orot, the former Estonian defense minister and diplomat.

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.

In the event of non-election, the Committee will assume its duties

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.

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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.

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.