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Estonia: Parliament Fails To Elect A President

Tallinn, 26 August 1996 (RFE/RL) -- Estonia's Parliament today failed to elect the Baltic state's next president when neither of the two competing candidates received the necessary two-thirds support from parliament.

Neither incumbent president Lennart Meri nor rival Arnold Ruutel, the deputy parliamentary speaker, received the necessary 68 votes from the 101 member parliament needed to win office.

With 95 members of parliament taking part in the secret ballot, Meri won 45 votes to Ruutel's 34. The rest of the deputies abstained.

A second round of voting will now be held tomorrow morning. The election is open for new nominations, which can include Meri and Ruutel.