Center MP: Presidential election may end up at electoral college

Jaanus Karilaid.
Jaanus Karilaid. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Riigikogu Center Party group chair Jaanus Karilaid says it is wholly viable that a head of state won't be elected on Tuesday, the second day of Riigikogu ballots, meaning the elections end up at the electoral college.

"Yes, looking at how some parties are mired in their games, then this is what is likely. But we are not afraid of that," Karilaid said on Tuesday.

Karialid charge the opposition Social Democratic (SDE) and Isamaa parties of holding out on national museum director Alar Karis, the sole candidate Monday, stressing that Center are not going to beg them for their vote.

"We can't go and plead with others. The candidate is known. But Isamaa and the Social Democrats decided on a floating position," he said. "However, the Center Party is fine with the electoral college process," Karilaid said.

If Tuesday fails to find a president, the process continues at the electoral college, a 208-vote body drawn from local governments and MPs, but convening in Tallinn.

The college must be convened within one month of the last Riigikogu vote, meaning by the end of next month.

"I stress that the electoral college is closer to the public. We are ready for the Social Democrats and the Isamaa Party not being able to decide," Karilaid went on.

Karilaid said that the parties have Karis' contact details and they can call him and ask if there's anything left unclear," he added.

ERR News has put together this guide to what happens with the presidential electoral process on Tuesday, August 31.


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Editor: Roberta Vaino, Andrew Whyte

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