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Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Estonia: legislative elections

On Sunday, the Estonian people went to the polls.

The parliamentary elections (Riikikogu) taking place in the country will decide the fate of the government of Kai Kallas, whose foreign policy notably includes constant support for Ukraine.

Opinion polls show the Liberal Reform Party, led by Kallas, has a chance of winning the election. If this happens and if the subsequent formation of the ruling coalition is successful, Estonia will continue its pro-European political course.

The key points of its policy in this case will remain the transition to clean energy sources and the reception of refugees from Ukraine.

The right-wing EKRE party could be in second place in the elections, which promises voters to reduce electricity costs and refuse to accept more refugees from Ukraine, according to forecasts.

Kallas and EKRE leader Martin Helme expressed hope to lead the country’s next coalition government.

“I hope to remain prime minister, but it’s up to voters to decide,” Kallas said, adding that voters must choose between “two very different paths for Estonia.”

Kallas ruled out the possibility of cooperation with EKRE.

In the days leading up to Sunday, a third of eligible voters voted online. Another 15% of voters voted in advance by paper ballot.

“I want the Russian war in Ukraine to end with a victory for Ukraine. And for this (Estonian) government to support pensioners,” 88-year-old Tallinn resident Maret Veske told a Reuters correspondent.

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