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article imageEstonia fails to elect president in first round

By AFP     Aug 29, 2016 in Politics

Estonia's parliament failed to elect a president Monday after none of the contenders for the largely ceremonial role received the necessary two-thirds majority of votes in round one of the race.

The presidential election in the small Baltic state, where heads of state are elected by parliamentary rather than public vote, therefore goes into a second round vote -- and a third round if necessary -- on Tuesday.

The legislators are choosing a successor for two-term liberal President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, but with the votes split among six parties, it is unlikely that parliament will be able to choose a president even in three rounds of voting.

In that case the decision would go to an election board of members of parliament and local government representatives late next month.

The head of state of the eurozone and NATO member of 1.3 million people is tasked with giving legislation its final seal of approval after checking its constitutionality. A term lasts five years.

Ilves, known for his sharp tongue and fondness for bow-ties, also gave the post a strong international dimension due to his flair for foreign affairs.

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