Local municipality leaders want to change distribution of electoral college

Members of the Electoral College at the Estonia Concert Hall in September of 2016.
Members of the Electoral College at the Estonia Concert Hall in September of 2016. Source: Rene Suurkaev/ERR

Although the presidential elections are set to kick off in a week in the Riigikogu, local municipalities are preparing for a possible electoral college round. Municipality leaders say there should be amendments to the distribution of votes in the future.

Despite the possibility of the Riigikogu handling the task of electing a president without it going to the electoral college, local municipality leaders are already thinking about the distribution of representatives. Tallinn has the most representatives - 10.

Tallinn mayor Mihhail Kõlvart (Center) said the hope is that the Riigikogu makes a decision. But in case the elections head to the electoral college, representatives will be distributed proportionally.

The city of Tartu would send four representatives to the elections taking place at the Estonia Concert Hall. Mayor Urmas Klaas (Reform) said they have not yet made a decision on representative distribution, but the city must be represented well. He said the greater issue is that the number of municipality representatives decreased with the administrative reform in 2016.

In the previous presidential elections in 2016, the electoral body had 234 council representatives and 101 members of the Riigikogu. There will be 208 members of the electoral college this year.

Klaas said this should be amended if the election process will be changed in the future.

While larger cities have different options of sending representatives to the electoral college, it is not the case for smaller municipalities. Saare County can only send two people to the electoral college and municipality council chairman Jaanus Takivi said it will be very complicated to choose those two representatives.

He also noted that the system needs to be amended because smaller municipalities are clearly underrepresented.

The presidential elections begin on August 30. ERR News outlined the background, process and what can be expected over the coming weeks here.


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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