Mart Helme to submit 21 signatures of support to National Electoral Committee ({{commentsTotal}})

Estonian Conservative People's Party (EKRE) candidate Mart Helme will be submitting the signatures of 21 electors to the National Electoral Committee in support of his nomination for the presidency of Estonia.

Helme told ERR's online news portal that the signatures of support will be submitted to the electoral committee on Tuesday. "First I need proof of citizenship," he said. "I don't know how long that will take."

The EKRE chairman and presidential candidate was not willing to name the electors to give him their signatures, however. "Those people do not want that," he explained. "I suppose the electoral will publish them then."

According to Helme, his meetings with local government leaders and electors have assured him that support for his candidacy is greater than anyone dares publicly admit for fear of repression.

"Many electors don't want to get into it with with the coalition with whom they work with every day," he explained. "But let us not forget that voting in the electoral committee is secret. One can expect surprises there that the parties in power don't expect."

Helme is convinced that a true people's president can only be someone who agrees with the majority of the public on issues dividing socety and takes the values and moods dominating society into account.

"Electors have said that they support me because this would break up the stagnation that has hit Estonia and would breathe new life into and give new direction to Estonia," he added.

Helme on his prospects: If I make it to second round, I'll be president

In response to claims that he has had to make a great effort to get the minimum 21 necessary signatures together for his nomination, Heme pointed out on Vikerraadio broadcast "Reporteritund" ("Reporter's Hour") that the same efforts are being made by "the public's big favorite Marina Kaljurand."

He cited that local government representatives are being especially careful, as they are [easily] manipulated by all kinds of means including project money and state support. "They are in large part tied to political parties and in many councils, it has been decided that good, you are an elector, vote as you please, but you may not give your signature to anyone," explained the EKRE candidate.

"My problem is very simple: I must make it into the second round," explained Helme. "If I make it to the second round, then I'll be president."

If Helme is elected, he would waive the majority of officials and advisors in the Office of the President.

"The president is an institution of ours that can rely on the entire state machine," Helme pointed out. "I remember that Lennart Meri also frequently ordered very many analyses, positions and memos from me in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. I believe that the current president could easily get by like this too."

According to the National Electoral Committee, candidates can be nominated for the electoral college's presidential elections anytime between 9 a.m. Tuesday and 6 p.m. Thursday. A candidate needs 21 electors' votes for the nomination. Each member of the electoral bdy can nominate only one candidate.

The first ballot round in the electoral college is scheduled to begin at noon on Saturday, Sept. 24. If needed, a second ballot round will be held at 4 p.m. A candidate will need 50 percent of the votes plus one in order to be elected.

If the first round doesn't produce a winner, the second round to follow will be between the two candidates to receive the most votes in the first round.

Editor: Editor: Aili Vahtla

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