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Estonia: Lawmakers Seek Replacement For President

Tallinn, 28 August 2001 (RFE/RL) -- Estonian lawmakers are scheduled today to make further attempts to select a replacement for outgoing President Lennart Meri. In a first round of voting yesterday, parliament members refused to give the necessary two-thirds majority backing to either former Prime Minister Andres Tarand or opposition candidate Peeter Kreitzberg.

Two more rounds of voting are scheduled for today, with additional candidates expected to join the race. If no winner emerges, the presidential selection process will move to an electoral assembly in September.

Meri has served as Estonia's head of state since independence from the Soviet Union 10 years ago. The constitution bars him from seeking a third term.