'Citizens of the Republic': In sifting for presidential candidates, collecting signatures possible direct elections element

ETV's "Citizens of the Republic" on ETV Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. (ERR)
9/7/2016 9:45 AM
Category: News

On ETV's broadcast "Citizens of the Republic" ("Vabariigi kodanikud"), one idea discussed was that if a desire exists to bring the presidential elections in Estonia closer to the people, an inclusive element could be a system in which one could only qualify as a candidate after receiving a certain number of signatures of public support.

The idea was suggested by Estonian daily Postimees' Editor-in-Chief Lauri Hussar, in whose opinion a requirement for qualifying as a candidate should be 10,000 signatures of support, for example. The other show guests found that the number of signatures should be higher, beginning at 20,000.

This year's presidential elections have reached the electoral college, where 335 electors must make a decision and the candidate to be elected president is the one to ear at least 168 votes.

One of the primary authors of the draft Constitution and current MP Jüri Adams found that the foolish thing about the electoral college system was the fact that, within it, it is no longer possible to find comprmise candidates.

"It has been designed so that one can go to Tallinn in half a day and be back home before nightfall," Adams criticized.

He cited Latvia as an example, where there is an unlimited number of voting rounds — one round per day and candidates can be nominated preceding every new round.

"Compromises cannot be reached in the electoral college," said Adams. "Those candidates who are nominated are locked in place."

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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