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Estonia: Parliament Fails To Elect President For Second Time

Tallinn, 27 August 1996 (RFE/RL) -- Estonia's parliament failed to elect a president today in a second round of voting. Neither of the two candidates was able to get a two-thirds majority in the 101-seat legislature. A third vote will be held later this afternoon.

Parliament has a choice between reformist Lennart Meri and former Soviet era leader Arnold Ruutel. In today's second vote, Meri received 49 votes -- four more than in the first round -- while Ruutel's support remained at 34. The first round of voting was held yesterday.

If there is no victor after three rounds of voting, a fourth election will be held but it will be expanded to also allow 273 regional representatives to vote.