Crypto News

The Estonian Prime Minister’s party easily beats the far right in parliamentary elections

TALLINN – Prime Minister Kaja Kallas’ centre-right Reform Party won Sunday’s parliamentary elections in Estonia by a wide margin after near-perfect results, beating a far-right rival who had been fighting to stop more arms supplies to Ukraine.

Reform received 31.6 percent of the votes, the right-wing runner-up EKRE 16 percent. To stay in power, Reform must once again form a coalition with one or more parties in the 101-seat Baltic state parliament.

The Center Party received 14.7 percent of the vote on Sunday, Estonia 200 13.5 percent, the Social Democrats 9.4 percent and the Isamaa (Fatherland) party 8.3 percent.

“It’s a lot better than we expected,” Kallas said of the result. “We have ruled out a coalition with EKRE and I stand by my words.”

EKRE boss Martin Helme suggested on election night that the reform had “stolen” the election.

“We didn’t do anything wrong. We did everything right and honestly, unlike those who stole our well-deserved victory,” he said.

Reform is a centre-right Liberal party targeting entrepreneurs and young professionals.

She has promised to increase military spending to at least 3 percent of GDP, cut corporate taxes and wants to pass a law authorizing same-sex civil unions.

EKRE, meanwhile, had campaigned against additional military aid to Kiev, calling for a halt to Ukrainian refugee arrivals and lower immigration rates to protect local workers.

The Electoral Commission has yet to review the results, but if confirmed, Reform will win 37 seats – three more than four years ago.

– Escalating tensions –

Estonia, a country of 1.3 million people bordering Russia, is a member of the EU and NATO and over the past year has led international calls for more military aid to help Ukraine repel Russian invasion.

Its military aid to Ukraine amounts to more than 1 percent of GDP – the largest contribution by any country relative to the size of its economy – and the ongoing war there has had many voters on its mind.

“It is obvious that what is happening in Ukraine is also very important for Estonia,” engineer Juhan Ressar, 35, told AFP at a polling station in the capital, Tallinn.

“Perhaps people have… forgotten the importance of independence.”

Kallas said on Sunday about aid to Ukraine: “I don’t think that will change with such a strong mandate.”

“Other parties – except EKRE and maybe Center – have taken the same line. So I think we can find common ground here,” she added.

According to EKRE’s Helme, Estonia should not escalate “tensions” with Moscow any further.

Estonia is also grappling with a cost of living crisis and has suffered one of the highest inflation rates in the EU – 18.6 percent in January over 12 months earlier.

For 62-year-old pensioner Pyotr Mahhonin, only EKRE represents “the Estonian people”. He accused the Prime Minister of being more interested in “another country”, referring to Ukraine.

Like many Estonians, he said he feared war. “We have a big neighbor, Russia, and it’s very dangerous.

“When the war starts, we are the country on the front lines.”

– abstention uncertainty –

Rein Toomla, a policy expert at the Johan Skytte Institute, said the reform could safely exclude EKRE from any coalition formation as their “position has now become so weak that it can easily be ignored”.

According to political scientists, a coalition between Reform, Estonia 200 and the Social Democrats is just as possible as one between Reform, Center and Isamaa.

The Center Party, traditionally popular with Estonia’s large Russian-speaking minority, has supported government policies towards Ukraine and towards Russia. The centre-left party had also promised more investment in infrastructure and affordable housing.

This deterred some Russian-speaking voters and raised fears of high abstentions among the minority, who make up about a quarter of the population.

According to the electoral commission, turnout was 63.5 percent.

Source: Crypto News Deutsch

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button