Presidential election moves on to electoral college (2)
As neither Siim Kallas nor Mailis Reps got the 68 votes needed for election and the three voting rounds in the Riigikogu are over, the electoral college will convene in late September to make another attempt at choosing the country’s next head of state.
In the third voting round on Tuesday Siim Kallas got 42 votes and Mailis Reps 26 votes. The members of IRL, the Free Party, and the Estonian Conservative People’s Party (EKRE) as expected handed in 30 ballot papers empty.
This outcome means that the campaign will continue for another few weeks until the electoral college convenes in the end of September, currently expected Sep. 24, as the Election Commission has booked Tallinn’s Estonia Concert Hall for that date.
As they were in the last voting round in the Riigikogu, both Mailis Reps and Siim Kallas will be candidates and don’t need to be nominated again.
For the other possible candidates, the nomination procedure will start over. They each will need 21 members of the electoral college to nominate them.
The college at 335 members is more than three times the size of the Riigikogu, with all 101 MPs of the latter participating in addition to 234 representatives of local government councils. Those representatives will be chosen seven days before the election.
The Election Commission will register candidates four to two days before the election takes place. On election day, there are only two rounds to be held. Necessary for a win are 50% of the votes plus one. If the first round doesn’t produce a winner, the second round that follows is between the two candidates that got the most votes in the first round.
The big question that remains is what the Reform Party will do about Marina Kaljurand. The current foreign minister is still the most popular candidate with the general population, and it is no secret that plenty of the parish representatives as well as the members of the Riigikogu would like the chance to vote for her.
Though it is likely that Kaljurand won’t have any problems getting the signatures together to be nominated, she can’t be sure of the Reform Party’s support. After mustering the support needed to carry Kallas to the third voting round in the Riigikogu, it is unlikely that the party would drop him in the electoral college.