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ERR News - Local opposition politicians will now have a better chance of swaying presidential elections thanks to changes to the election law adopted by Parliament on October 27.
The amendment to the law that governs presidential elections, which passed 57 to 20 with one abstention, affects the way local government councils appoint representatives to the electoral body, a group that plays a large role in choosing the president, reported.
In Estonia, the president is not chosen by direct election, but is instead voted in by Parliament. If Parliament cannot reach the required two-thirds majority in three rounds of voting, as has been the case in every election since 1992, an electoral body made up of the members of parliament and representatives from local governments chooses between the top two candidates.
Until now the procedure for choosing the delegates to the electoral body was left up to the local governments themselves, resulting in a situation where mainly members of coalition parties were chosen.
Under the amended law, local governments will choose their representatives in a single round of voting, giving opposition members in larger municipalities a better chance.
The bill was initiated by the ruling Reform-IRL coalition, along with the Social Democrats and Greens.
Estonia's next presidential elections take place in 2011.


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