Today, Sorainen welcomes back Partner Allar Jõks of our Estonian office, who had been campaigning to become the president of Estonia since May.


Presidential candidate Allar Jõks during the voting at Estonia Concert Hall, Tallinn, 24 September 2016

Photo: Andras Kralla/Aripaev

“I was glad to see that the values which I have stood for during my entire life – equal opportunities for all, justice, as well as honest policy making – received such strong support,” Allar noted. “I have been asked many times whether I will go into politics. The answer is no. My party is Sorainen.”

Allar Jõks was one of the two candidates who advanced to the final round of voting last Saturday, where in the end, neither of the candidates received the number of votes required to become president. After four rounds of voting, the country remains without a head of state.

The Estonian presidential election year has been exceptionally dramatic, with the country’s complicated election system coming under criticism and demand increasing for direct presidential elections. In the first attempt to elect a president in August, the parliament failed to elect anyone in two rounds of voting. Therefore, a second attempt occurred last Saturday, 24 September, when a 335-member electoral college from all over Estonia gathered to cast their ballots.

In the first round of Saturday’s voting, Allar received the highest number of votes (83) out of the five candidates. The two candidates with the biggest number of votes, Allar and candidate Siim Kallas advanced to the second round of voting on Saturday. Allar said that this good result in the first round was a testament to the work that had gone into his campaign, as he spent the summer meeting with people across Estonia to discuss the needs of the country.

In the second round of voting on Saturday, Allar received 134 votes and Siim Kallas received 138 votes. As neither candidate received the required 168 votes to be elected, no president was chosen.

Allar Jõks was the only candidate with no political background. The other candidates were Former Prime Minister and Vice-President of European Commission Siim Kallas, Former Foreign Minister Marina Kaljurand (who quit her minister’s post in order to run for president), the Centre Party’s board member Mailis Reps and the Conservative People’s Party’s Chairman Mart Helme.

The Estonian presidential election now returns to the 101-member parliament that previously failed to agree on a president. The law requires that 68 ballots must be cast in favour of the winning candidate.

After Saturday’s proceedings, Allar told the media that he will not campaign again in the parliament, and would happily return to Sorainen. Allar Jõks is a partner at Sorainen, and is head of the Government Relations & Administrative Law Team as well as head of the Tax & Customs Team in Estonia. Allar specialises in constitutional and administrative law. He has a wide knowledge of public law and exceptionally valuable experience in constitutional review and protection of fundamental rights.

Sorainen is the only fully integrated law firm in the region with offices in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Belarus. Since 1995, the firm has serviced more than 10,000 corporate clients in the Baltics and Belarus and its track record includes more than 55,000 cases, along with over 800 M&A transactions. The firm’s clients are mainly large and medium sized international and local businesses operating or planning to operate in the Baltic countries and Belarus.