Paper: Administrative reform lowers number of presidential electors

Ballots in the Sept. 24 presidential elections at the electoral college, September 24, 2016.
Ballots in the Sept. 24 presidential elections at the electoral college, September 24, 2016. Source: (Rene Suurkaev/ERR)

Postimees reported on Friday the election of the next president of Estonia could change after the administrative reform introduced several years ago is thought to have lowered the number of electors from local governments in the Presidential Electoral College.

At the previous presidential election in 2016 – before Estonia's administrative reform – the college was made up of 234 electors and 101 MPs as the President of the Republic Election Act prescribes a certain number of electors from local governments based on the number of citizens with the right to vote.

As the Riigikogu has managed to elect the president only once before, parties are mulling changes to the presidential election procedure, Postimees wrote (link in English) but have so far not reached a consensus between themselves which they would need to amend the constitution if a change was agreed.

The Center Party deputy chairman Jaanus Karilaid said the party favors direct presidential elections in the long run but have no allies, except for EKRE; the social democrats believe electors should outnumber MPs in the electoral body; Reform Party chairman Kaja Kallas did not say how many electors the college should have as the party has not held a debate on the subject yet, but she and representatives of other parties mentioned that the entire presidential election procedure should be revisited.

Chairman of the Isamaa party Helir-Valdor Seeder proposed tackling the matter of number of electors first, saying: "The question now is whether the legislator wants to retain the ratio of electors to MPs we had before the administrative reform."


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Editor: Helen Wright

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