Newspaper: Next president won’t be elected in parliament
Two weeks before the presidential election, Postimees asked members of the Riigikogu who their first and second choice will be from among the current presidential hopefuls. Based on the result, the election would likely be postponed and the electoral college called, the paper wrote on Tuesday.
Based on the preferences of 91 of the Riigikogu’s 101 members, the paper decided to risk the guess that the president would not be elected in parliament.
In the first round of the presidential election, which will take place on Aug. 29, up to four candidates can be nominated. Currently Postimees expects these candidates to be former European Commission member Siim Kallas (Reform), President of the Riigikogu Eiki Nestor (SDE), MP Mailis Reps (Center), and the Free Party and IRL’s chosen candidate, former chancellor of justice Allar Jõks.
According to the newspaper, MPs will most likely vote for their chosen nominee in the first round, which means that Kallas could get the largest number of votes, as he is the first or second preference of 50 MPs.
While Jõks and Nestor will depend on the votes of MPs of parties beyond their own, Kallas and Reps can count on wider support thanks to the size of their own parties’ parliamentary groups.
The third and last ballot round is between the two strongest candidates, which Postimees thinks will be Kallas and Reps. If neither of the two gets elected, they would then have a direct mandate for the electoral college later on. There, they would automatically be candidates, while anyone else who still wants to stand for election will have to be nominated again, this time by 68 members of the college.
This particular feature of the election procedure is the reason why some of the presidential hopefuls, most prominently Siim Kallas, Allar Jõks, and Mart Helme, have been working the country’s parishes for a while now, representatives of which will make up the electoral college together with the members of the Riigikogu.
Foreign Minister Marina Kaljurand (independent), who has come out of every public poll as the most popular candidate with the voters, said in July that she wouldn’t stand for election in parliament, but be a candidate again if the electoral college was called.