A couple posts ago, while discussing parliamentary politics, the '06 presidential race (well it's not really a race, but, nevermind) came up. Nobody knows if "Meie" Arnold Rüütel will opt for another five years of luncheons with his counterparts abroad, but the truth is things have changed in the five years since he moved into Kadriorg. The dominant parties in the Riigikogu are Res Publica and the Center party, and, though I doubt Rüütel has done much to piss either of them off, it would be in both parties' best interest to elect a president of their faction in 2006 to give them extra momentum heading into the 2007 parliamentary elections.
Of this mix, the most obvious choice for Res Publica (tips to Andry)is Riigikogu esinaine Ene Ergma (see photo). Res Publica is also in greater need to secure a president from its faction because, as mentioned below, it's popularity rate is abysmal. It is currently polling at 3 percent, and having a popular president from the faction could bring voters back into the fold.
From KESK's side I only see Edgar Savisaar waiting in the wings. Surely the man who has been prime minister and mayor of Tallinn would like to be president. But KESK only has 24 votes in the Riigikogu, and Savisaar's political enemies, from SDE to Isamaaliit, proably agree that they don't want him to be president.
Does that mean that other factions will support the candidacy of Ene Ergma from Res Publica if she signals she wants to be president? Maybe. Anyway I am interested in learning more about presidential politics. Estonia is still wrapped up in Olympic euphoria, so there's little news in the presidential department.