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Alar Karis elected Estonian president in 2nd ballot

 TALLINN:Alar Karis, the sole candidate in Estonia's presidential election, was elected Estonian president on Tuesday in the second round of voting held in the country's 101-member Parliament (Riigikogu) during a continued extraordinary session. 

After failing to garner enough support on Monday, Karis received support from 72 lawmakers, passing a two-thirds majority, or at least 68 votes, needed to get elected in the secret ballot. The counting process was broadcast live online.

 Eighty lawmakers cast ballots in the second ballot, of which eight were blank, the Parliament said in a press release.

 On Tuesday morning, Karis was once again registered as the sole candidate for president by the Estonian National Electoral Committee after having been nominated by the Estonian Reform Party and the Center Party -- the current governing coalition holding 59 seats combined. 



 In the first round of voting on Monday, Karis received support from 63 lawmakers. Seventy-nine lawmakers cast ballots, of which 16 were blank.

 The three opposition parties are the Social Democrats with 11 seats, Isamaa (12) and the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (19).

 Karis, 63, is an Estonian citizen by birth, a native of Tartu, the second largest city in Estonia.

 He is an Estonian molecular geneticist and developmental biologist who embarked on an academic career after graduating from the veterinary department of the Estonian University of Life Sciences in Tartu, and became a professor there in 1999, according to reports of the Estonian Public Broadcasting.

 He served as rector at the Estonian University of Life Sciences from 2003-2007, and as rector of the University of Tartu from 2007-2012. He was appointed Estonia's auditor general in March 2013 and, after completing his tenure, became director of the Estonian National Museum in October 2017.

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