Ilves looks set to breeze through the Aug. 29 elections. (photo: president.ee)
TALLINN -- Estonian President Toomas Hendrick Ilves looks set to keep his post for another term in the runnup to presidential elections later this month.
Three parties have pledged their support for the incumbent president, garnering him 75 votes in parliament -- well over the 68 needed for victory. The election is scheduled for Aug. 29.
Ilves' only challenger, Indrek Tarand, was nominated by the Centre Party. Tarand has put together his own team of campaigners -- despite the nomination the Centre Party will not campaign for him -- and says that he believes he still has a chance a victory.
Tarand said in an interview with national news radio this weekend that 10 deputies had agreed to support him, whcih would be enough to send the election into a second round. Party leaders deny this, however, saying their members will stay strong in their support for Ilves.
Poll data indicates that Ilves also has the support of the general populace. The most recent polls indicate that around 50% of the population support Ilves, while just 20% support Tarand.