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Estonia to Elect President

TALLINN, Estonia — Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves is likely to win re-election Monday in a country whose economy stands out as one of the most stable in the debt-ridden, 17-

nation euro zone.

The presidential vote takes place in parliament, where the 58-year-old Ilves has the backing of the governing parties and some opposition lawmakers. A simple majority is needed to win in the 101-seat parliament.

The ballot is secret, which leaves the tiniest chance for horse-trading that could benefit challenger Indrek Tarand, the only other candidate.

Tarand, a member of the European Parliament, has the backing of the left-leaning opposition Center Party, which is favored by Estonia's sizable ethnic Russian community.

Ilves said in a recent debate with Tarand, 47, that Russia should be excluded from the G8 group of wealthy nations because it lacks rule of law.

(AP)

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