Opposition involved in general discussions about presidential candidates

Isamaa chair Helir-Valdor Seeder.
Isamaa chair Helir-Valdor Seeder. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

Opposition parties have participated in discussions to find Estonia's next president but said these talks have not involved all the details. EKRE believes the president will not be elected in the Riigikogu this year.

Isamaa Chairman Helir-Valdor Seeder told ETV's current affairs show "Aktuaalne kaamera" on Tuesday that he has discussed the issue with the chairmen of Reform and Center Kaja Kallas and Jüri Ratas, but there are no confirmed names yet.

Candidates are proposed by the parties and then voted on, but only one party, EKRE, has nominated a candidate for president so far. The first round of voting is due to take place on August 30 and 68 votes are needed to elect the president, meaning three parties will need to back a candidate. If the Riigikogu cannot agree, then the voting moves to the electoral college.

On Monday, the Center Party said eight to nine names were being discussed as potential candidates, but Seeder said fewer people are mentioned in discussions with the parties.

"There has not been such a wide range of candidates in the conversations between the party leaders. The different candidates have been discussed one by one," he said.

Seeder said current President Kersti Kaljulaid continuing in the role has not been discussed. It has been previously reported that she is unlikely to receive the required 68 votes of support to continue.

Secretary General of the Social Democratic Party (SDE) Rannar Vassiljev said it is possible to find a candidate but thinks the search should be more transparent.

"The two parties in power, which do not have the necessary vote in the Riigikogu, are debating with each other, and then all the other parties and the public are left out of these debates. I don't think that's a good way to get the president elected in the Riigikogu," Vassiljev said.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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