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President of the Republic of Estonia Elections

How the President is Elected

The President of the Republic shall be elected by the Riigikogu by default. The right to nominate a candidate rests with not less than one-fifth of the membership of Riigikogu. A candidate in favour of whom a two-thirds majority of the membership of the Riigikogu votes shall be considered elected.

If this is not the case, then new candidates shall be nominated and there will be a second round of voting. When no candidate receives the required number of votes, there will be a third round of voting, this time between the two candidates that received the greatest number of votes. A two-thirds majority of votes is required in both rounds to be elected.

When the President of the Republic is still not elected in the third round of voting, an electoral body is convened.

The electoral body consists of the members of the Riigikogu and representatives of the local government councils. Each local government council shall elect at least one representative to the electoral body. In 2001, the electoral body consisted of 367 members (including 101 members of the Riigikogu). 

A majority of the voting electoral body members is required in order for a candidate to be elected.

For the first round of voting, two candidates that participated in the 3d round of voting at the Riigikogu are automatically presented to the electoral body. Additionally, at least 21 members of an electoral body may nominate a new candidate.

If no candidate is elected in the first round, there will be a second round of voting between the two candidates who received the greatest number of votes in the first round. Again, a majority of the voting electoral body members is required in order for a candidate to be elected.

In case still no candidate gets elected, the whole procedure starts all over again, starting from the Riigikogu. To date, this has not happened yet.

 

The Election of The President Of Republic in 1992

The Implementation Act of the Estonian Constitution provided a different set of rules for electing the president in 1992. These rules were to used only for the first presidential elections that followed the adoption of the constitution.

To quote the implementation act:

"In implementing the Constitution, the President of the Republic shall, as an exception, be elected simultaneously with the elections to the Riigikogu in a general, uniform and direct election, by secret vote, by a majority of the participants in the voting, for a term of four years. If no candidate receives more than one-half of the votes of the participants in the voting, the Riigikogu shall elect the President of the Republic from between the two candidates who receive the greatest number of votes, within ten days after the convention of the Riigikogu. The specific procedure for the election of the President of the Republic shall be provided by the President of the Republic Election Act."

Since no candidate received the required majority of votes in direct elections, the President was elected by the Riigikogu. 

The next presidential elections were already held according to the rules set in the new constitution.

 

Election results

1992

I 1st round (general and direct elections), September 20, 1992
Voter turnout 68%
Lennart-Georg Meri 29,5%
Arnold Rüütel 42%
Lagle Parek 4%
Rein Taagepera 23%

II 2nd round, October 5, 1992 at the Riigikogu

Lennart-Georg Meri: 59
Arnold Rüütel: 31

Lennart Meri was elected the President of The Republic Of Estonia.

 

1996

1st round, Riigikogu, August 26, 1996
Lennart-Georg Meri: 45
Arnold Rüütel: 34

2nd round, Riigikogu, August 27, 1996
Lennart-Georg Meri: 49
Arnold Rüütel: 34

3d round, Riigikogu, August 27, 1996
Lennart-Georg Meri: 52
Arnold Rüütel: 32

1st round, Electoral Body, September 20, 1996
The Electoral Body consisted of 374 members.
Tunne-Väldo Kelam: 76
Lennart-Georg Meri:  139
Siiri Oviir: 25
Arnold Rüütel:  85
Enn Tõugu:  47

2nd round, Electoral Body September 20, 1996
Lennart-Georg Meri: 196
Arnold Rüütel: 126

Lennart-Georg Meri was elected the President of the Republic of Estonia.

 

2001

1st round, Riigikogu, August 27, 2001
Peeter Kreitzberg: 40
Andres Tarand: 38

2nd round, Riigikogu, August 28, 2001
Peeter Kreitzberg: 36
Peeter Tulviste: 35

3d round, Riigikogu, August 28, 2001
Peeter Kreitzberg: 33
Peeter Tulviste: 33

1st round, Electoral Body, September 21, 2001
The Electoral Body consisted of 367 members
Peeter Kreitzberg: 72
Arnold Rüütel: 114
Toomas Savi: 90
Peeter Tulviste: 89

2nd round, Electoral Body, September 21, 2001
Arnold Rüütel: 186
Toomas Savi: 155

Arnold Rüütel was elected the President of the Republic of Estonia

 

2006

1st round, Riigikogu, August 28, 2006
Ene Ergma: 65

2nd round, Riigikogu, August 29, 2006
Toomas Hendrik Ilves: 64

3d round, Riigikogu, August 29, 2006
Toomas Hendrik Ilves: 64

1st round, Electoral Body, September 23, 2006
The Electoral Body consisted of 345 members.
Toomas Hendrik Ilves: 174
Arnold Rüütel: 162

Toomas Hendrik Ilves was elected the President of the Republic Of Estonia.

 

2011

1st round, Riigikogu, August 29, 2011
Toomas Hendrik Ilves 73
Indrek Tarand 25

Toomas Hendrik Ilves was elected the President of the Republic Of Estonia.