Ilves wins re-election

  • 2011-08-29
  • TBT Staff

Ilves' victory came as no surprise

TALLINN -- Estonian President Toomas Hendrick Ilves has won re-election in a landslide victory.

Ilves swept the election -- which took place in Monday afternoon in the Riigikogu (Estonian parliament) -- with 73 votes in favor and just 25 against. This means he easily cleared the 68-vote minimum was necessary to win in a single round of voting.

Ilves' victory was largely a foregone conclusion, with early pledges of support from three parties that control 75 votes. His only challenger, Indrek Tarand, an independent put forward by the Center Party, said that he accepted the nomination as a service to Estonian democracy.

Ilves is a former US citizen who was born in 1953 in Stockholm, Sweden. He received an education in psychology -- a bachelor's from Columbia and Master's from Pennsylvania -- in the United States. From 1988 to 1993 he worked for Radio Free Europe as head of the Estonian desk in Germany.

Following that he became the US ambassador, a post which he held until 1996, when he entered domestic politics and took over as foreign minister.

He was an MP and MEP until his election as president in 2006. His next five year term officially begins on October 10.