* Three Estonian parties on Saturday formally named deputy parliamentary speaker Ene Ergma as their candidate for Monday's presidential elections, according to reports from Estonian capital of Tallinn.
The three parties, namely, the Union of Pro Patria and Respublica, the Reform Party and the Social Democratic Party, agreed on Aug. 10 to name Ergam as their first-choice presidential candidate, and former foreign minister Toomas Hendrik Ilves as their second-choice one.
But the parties that back Ergma are three votes short the 68 seats Ergma needs in the 101-member single-chamber parliament to become the country's first woman president.
Two other groupings, the center left' People's Union and the Center Party, which have 33 seats in parliament, have been jointly pushing for the re-election of incumbent President Arnold Rüütel.
Under the Estonian constitution, a candidate needs more than two-thirds of the parliamentary votes to win the Baltic country's largely figurehead presidency for a five-year term.
Ergma, 62, an astrophysicist, entered politics just three years ago ... !