Riigikogu
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Riigikogu

At the end of August, the Riigikogu will elect the new President of the Republic of Estonia. In case the Riigikogu fails to elect the President, the President is elected by the electoral body. The President of the Republic is elected for a term of five years.

The extraordinary session of the Riigikogu for the election of the President of the Republic will be held on 29 August 2016 at 1 p.m. The registration of candidates opens on 25 August.

The presidential candidate has to have the support of at least 68 members of the Riigikogu.

The right to nominate a candidate for the President of the Republic rests with not less than one-fifth of the membership of the Riigikogu (21 members of the Riigikogu). The President of the Republic is elected by secret ballot, where each member of the Riigikogu has one vote. A candidate in favour of whom a two-thirds majority of the membership of the Riigikogu (68 members of the Riigikogu) votes is considered elected.

If no candidate receives the required majority, a new round of voting is held on the next day. Before the second round of voting, a new nomination of candidates is held.

If no candidate receives the required majority in the second round of voting, a third round of voting is held on the same day between the two candidates who receive the greatest number of votes in the second round.

If the President of the Republic is still not elected in the third round of voting, the President of the Riigikogu, within one month, convenes an electoral body to elect the President of the Republic.

Electoral body

The electoral body is formed of the members of the Riigikogu (who number 101) and representatives of the local government councils. The number of representatives of local governments is determined on the basis of the number of Estonian citizens with the right to vote in the rural municipality or city. In 1996, the electoral body had 374 members; in 2001, it had 367 members; in 2006, it had 345 members (two rural municipalities did not elect their representatives). The number of members decreased because the number of local governments became smaller as a result of merger of rural municipalities and cities.

The right to nominate a candidate rests with not less than twenty-one members of the electoral body. For the first round of voting, the names of the candidates who participated in the third round of voting in the Riigikogu and the candidates who are registered for the first round of voting in the electoral body are entered on the ballot paper.

A candidate is considered elected in the first round of voting if a majority of the members of the electoral body participating in the voting votes in favour of him or her. If no candidate receives the required majority, a second round of voting is held on the same day.

For the second round of voting, the names of the two candidates who received the greatest number of votes in the first round are entered on the ballot paper. The candidate in favour of whom a majority of the members of the electoral body participating in the voting votes is considered elected.

If no candidate receives the required majority of votes, an extraordinary election of the President of the Republic is held in the Riigikogu within fourteen days.

Assumption of office

The President of the Republic will assume office on 10 October 2016.

The President assumes office by swearing the following oath of office to the people of Estonia before the Riigikogu:

“In assuming the office of President, I (given name and surname), solemnly swear to steadfastly defend the Constitution and the laws of the Republic of Estonia, to exercise the authority entrusted to me in a just and impartial manner, and to perform my duties faithfully, to the best of my abilities and to the best of my understanding, for the benefit of the people of Estonia and the Republic of Estonia.”

Toomas Hendrik Ilves is taking the oath of office before the Riigikogu on 11 October 2011

Toomas Hendrik Ilves is taking the oath of office before the Riigikogu on 11 October 2011

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