Gallery: Riigikogu vote on Alar Karis as president

Estonia's presidential election is in progress, with only one candidate, national museum director Alar Karis, nominated for the first ballot.

MPs vote on paper and do not disclose how they will be voting, which adds to the tension.

Reform MP Siim Kallas will not be voting, ERR reports. Kallas was hospitalized last week, and the only way to cast a ballot is in person, on-site.

This means the coalition of Reform and Center are down one vote to 58 when they need 68 for Karis to get the nod, making the position of the opposition Social Democrats (SDE) and Isamaa all the more crucial in tipping the balance.

The parties have 23 votes between them, but their leaders have said MPs can vote as they wish, meaning the 10 mandates needed for Karis cannot be taken for granted.

Karis is the only candidate running, meaning the only alternative to voting for him is an abstention, or a spoiled or blank paper.

If the Riigikogu elects the President, a press conference will take place at the Riigikogu's White Hall 15 minutes after the end of the sitting.

The session at the Riigikogu is being held on an extra-ordinary basis. The regular sessions start mid-September.

If Monday's ballot is inconclusive, a second ballot takes place Tuesday morning which may include more candidates if any are nominated between 8.00 a.m. and 10.00 a.m.

Kersti Kaljulaid is eligible for a second consecutive term.

ERR News has put together this bio of Alar Karis.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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