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Ilves Re-elected President of Estonia

President Toomas Hendrik Ilves
President Toomas Hendrik Ilves Source: Photo: Reuters/Scanpix

Incumbent candidate Toomas Hendrik Ilves was re-elected in the first round of presidential elections in Parliament today, beating rival Indrek Tarand with a vote of 73 to 25.

Ilves cleared the minimum 68 votes needed to sweep the round, an unsurprising result given previously-pledged support from Reform, IRL and the Social Democrats, who among them control 75 votes in the 101-seat Parliament.

MEP Indrek Tarand, the challenger nominated by the Centre Party, had earlier claimed that he had enough defectors in his camp to prevent a first-round sweep.

Today's win brings to an abrupt end a race that has been largely devoid of drama and light on discussion of issues. The two candidates faced each other in a live teledebate on Saturday, where they avoided a thorough debate on economic and social topics. 

Tarand, whose independent status and political stance made him an unlikely nominee for the Centre Party, said he accepted the challenge as a service for Estonian democracy and to strike a blow against "stagnant" public administration.

Ilves' second five-year term in office will begin October 10.


Steve Roman

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