Tarand named as early presidential candidate to replace Ilves ({{commentsTotal}})

Indrek Tarand Source: (Postimees/Scanpix)

IRL Chairman Urmas Reinsalu said that an Estonian independent MEP Indrek Tarand could be the party's candidate for president in the summer of 2016.

Tarand told Delfi that the idea appeals to him. “A party head usually speaks out ideas backed by its members. Reinsalu hit an important note in the democratic process – citizens want to know at the parliamentary elections what will happen at the presidential vote,” he said.

The new crop of MPs will have the first say on the new president. If one candidate fails to collect two-thirds majority backing in the parliament, the vote heads to an election college.

Tarand, who won over 100,00 votes in 2009 and 43,000 votes at the 2014 European Parliament elections, was approached by the Social Democrats in 2002 to run for the Mayor of Tallinn position, and was the Center Party's presidential candidate in 2011.

Until now, Siim Kallas has been the most vocal potential candidate to replace current President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, who is not permitted to run for a third time. Kallas has, however, said he would have preferred a PM seat. Jaan Männik, also an independent, could also run.

Editor: J.M. Laats, S. Tambur

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