Martin Šmutov, editor-in-chief of Õhtuleht, says the opposition Social Democratic and Isamaa parties have the decision-making position on whether to help the next president get elected in the Riigikogu, or instead to hand the other opposition, the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) a platform to speak and introduce its own candidate, former Riigikogu speaker Henn Põlluaas.
"I think that practically all parties would be interested in ending the process in the Riigikogu, except EKRE, who would like to bring the elections to the electoral college because they do not have enough votes to nominate their candidate at the Riigikogu," Šmutov told ETV morning show "Terevisioon" Monday.
"The Social Democrats have a decision-making position with which they could give EKRE another platform to introduce their candidate. Yes, this is also said about the Center Party that there are also some votes sliding through; ask Karis (director of the Estonian National Museum and presidential candidate - ed.) something about corruption and some votes will fall away. But for the Social Democrats and Isamaa, this is the decision-making," Šmutov added.
Šmutov also said that he basically supports the current system, where political parties in the Riigikogu must forget disputes and reach an agreement.
However, Martin Mölder, a researcher at the University of Tartu, said that in his opinion the President of the Riigikogu will not get elected, but the election will pass on to the electoral college. "What is the motivation of political parties to end the process in the Riigikogu? At the electoral body, the bars are lower and it is easier to elect a president," Mölder said.
Mölder added that the whole process of presidential elections raises conflicting expectations.
"The public wants to see the president of the people. Instead of the people's president, we will have a party representative in Kadriorg."
Speaking about the prospects of the current President Kersti Kaljulaid, Mölder said that Kaljulaid is primarily supported by members from the Reform Party, Eesti 200 and the Social Democrats and their supporters. As a non-parliamentary party, Eesti 200 cannot vote for the next president.
"A lot also depends on whether there are other names next to her. In other words, if you just ask if the current president could continue, about half will think so. If we have other names next to her, the smaller the support for her will be," Mölder said.
Editor: Roberta Vaino