Council of Elders hopes to agree on consensus candidate by Wednesday
The Riigikogu's Council of Elders, which convened on Monday afternoon, agreed that the six current parliamentary parties would try to find a suitable presidential candidate together. The council is slated to meet again on Tuesday, and by Wednesday at the latest they hope to have agreed upon a single joint candidate for president of Estonia.
President of the Riigikogu Eiki Nestor told journalists that not a single candidate who has taken part in the elections so far should be allowed to come into play anymore.
Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) Parliamentary Group Chairman Martin Helme said that intense negotiations are taking place between political parties, some specific names have been discussed and out of those names mentioned, a few have already been contacted.
According to Helme, it was agreed not to name any potential candidates currently; the council would review the situation on Tuesday, and they would try to find a "consensus candidate" by Wednesday at the latest. "We will try to sift out names in the Council of Elders and agree on someone tomorrow," he explained. "We agreed not to name anyone until the potential candidate has consented [to run]."
The Council of Elders have planned to meet again on Tuesday at 1 p.m.
Helme did not rule out the possibility that there may already by specific candidates to suggest by then, but he declined to name any at the time.
He added, however, that the current Plan A was for the parliamentary parties to find a consensus candidate who would, figuratively speaking, earn 100 votes in the Riigikogu.
"While this most likely will not happen, the candidate should at least have support in each party in the Riigikogu," said the EKRE MP. "Everyone is in a very constructive mood and there is a clear desire to elect the president in the Riigikogu."
The Council of Elders consists of the three members of the Board of the Riigikogu — President Eiki Nestor, First Vice-President Helir-Valdor Seeder and Second Vice-President Jüri Ratas — as well as the chairmen of the six parliamentary groups: Urve Tiidus (Reform), Kadri Simson (Center), Andres Anvelt (SDE), Priit Sibul (IRL), Andres Herkel (Free) and Martin Helme (EKRE).