Reform Party Riigikogu group supports Karis as presidential candidate

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Director of the Estonian National Museum Alar Karis met with the Reform Party's Riigikogu faction and board on Thursday to discuss becoming a presidential candidate.

After the meeting, chairman of the faction Mart Võrklaev told ERR: "The current feeling on the part of the parliamentary group is that Karis made a good impression and the Reform Party would be ready to support him as a presidential candidate."

The meeting lasted for 90 minutes and the final decision will be made by the party's board.

Võrklaev said Reform wants to know Isamaa and the Social Democratic Party's (SDE) views before they make a final decision as any candidate needs cross-party support to be elected. SDE will meet with Karis on Monday.

He said there is no certainty that all the members will vote for Karis in the election even if the party board decides to support him. "MPs are free in their mandate, and especially on an issue as important as electing the president," Võrklaev said.

Chairman of the Center Party and Speaker of the Riigikogu Jüri Ratas proposed Karis as a candidate on Tuesday. Karis agreed on Wednesday and will also meet with the Center Party.

The first round of voting in the presidential election will take place on August 30. Parties propose candidates and then the 101-seat Riigikogu elects the president. Sixty-eight MPs must support a candidate for them to be elected.

So far, there are no other presidential candidates or potential candidates.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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