The Morning Journal (Lorain, OH)

Museum chief is only presidenti­al candidate


HELSINKI >> Estonia is gearing up for an unusual presidenti­al election in parliament. There will be only one candidate in Monday’s vote, a situation unpreceden­ted since the Baltic nation regained its independen­ce 30 years ago.

President Kersti Kaljulaid’s five-year term expires on Oct. 10, and lawmakers in the 101-seat Riigikogu parliament must elect a new head of state to replace her in the largely ceremonial post, due to the prime minister holding most power.

As no further candidates registered by the late Saturday deadline, the director of the Estonian National Museum, Alar Karis, will be the sole contender. Karis is the only one who has managed to get support from the required minimum of 21 lawmakers.

Holding a vote with only one candidate has flummoxed the country, and several politician­s have called for a complete overhaul of Estonia’s complex presidenti­al election system. Some have even suggested abolishing the post altogether.

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