Presidential nominations: Kallas, Reps, and Jõks safe, Helme 19, others not yet clear

Eiki Nestor (Social Democrats), Mailis Reps (Center Party), Allar Jõks (supported by IRL and the Free Party), Mart Helme (EKRE), Marina Kaljurand (independent), Siim Kallas (Reform Party) (ERR)
9/16/2016 4:08 PM
Category: News

Each of the candidates for the presidency needs to be nominated by at least 21 members of the electoral college. As of Friday, the Free Party and IRL’s candidate, Allar Jõks, had collected 40 signatures, Mart Helme of the Conservative People’s Party (EKRE) has 19. Siim Kallas and Mailis Reps are nominated automatically as they were in the third ballot round in the election in the Riigikogu.

President of the Riigikogu Eiki Nestor’s nomination is still unclear, his party announced earlier on this week that they would meet again on Monday and discuss whether or not to enter the race with him.

Marina Kaljurand’s team didn’t publish a number, but after Kaljurand finally made it clear a week ago that she is running, her supporters across parties will most likely be collecting them already.

Mart Helme, the candidate of EKRE, has 19 signatures so far. Helme hadn’t been nominated for the election in the Riigikogu last month and instead declared that he would go for a nomination in the electoral college. Ironically, he would be one step closer to that goal if it weren’t for his own party. One of EKRE’s own electors declared his support of Marina Kaljurand on Sept. 13. The representative of the municipality of Martna in Lääne County was promptly told to leave the party.

Meanwhile the more moderate conservatives around the Free Party and IRL announced on Friday that they had 40 actual signatures and would go on collecting them.

Whether or not the other candidates have their support in writing is not clear.

As the two candidates of the third ballot round of the election in the Riigikogu in August, both the Reform Party’s candidate, Siim Kallas, as well as Center’s Mailis Reps are automatically nominated for the electoral college.

While both Jõks as well as Helme’s campaign teams are optimistic about their chances in the college, the other candidates’ teams either aren’t offering comment, or are still debating who to support.

The 335-member electoral college consists of members of the Riigikogu as well as electors appointed by the country’s municipalities and city districts. It will convene in Estonia Concert Hall on Sept. 24.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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