Estonian Reform Party won parliamentary elections

Noam Stiekema

The Estonian Reform Party won the parliamentary elections in the Baltic country, according to the final data of the Central Election Commission. The former Estonian Prime Minister and leader of the Estonian Reform Party Taavi Roivas most likely will get second mandate. His party won 28% of the vote and received 30 from the 101 […]

Taavi Roivas

Taavi RoivasThe Estonian Reform Party won the parliamentary elections in the Baltic country, according to the final data of the Central Election Commission. The former Estonian Prime Minister and leader of the Estonian Reform Party Taavi Roivas most likely will get second mandate. His party won 28% of the vote and received 30 from the 101 seats in the parliament.

Second is the pro-Russian Estonian Centre Party, which has 25% and 27 seats in the parliament. The Social Democrats have 15% and 15 seats. They are outgoing coalition partner of the Estonian Reform Party (ERP). The conservatives center-right Union “Pro Party” and “Res Publica” get 14 seats after winning 8% from the votes. None of the other parties did not pass the 5% threshold to enter the parliament.

The results show that the ERP and the Social Democrats have 45 seats in parliament, so far as they had a total of 52 seats. Therefore now they are in a minority position and will have to seek another coalition partner to extend their seats and votes. This means that the changes are possible in the current composition of the Cabinet.

In the elections were entitled aloud about 900,000 people out of 1.3 million people. The turnout was 63.7%. Since 2005 the country allows electronic elections and this year into it participated 173,000 citizens, which is a record for the country. Estonia has e-administration and is one of the most advanced countries in Europe by this. In this electronic vote the party of Prime Minister Taavi Roivas won 37.5%, the Conservatives receive 1.72%, the Social Democrats – 16.8% and centrists got 7.7% from the electronic votes. The result of the election strengthened support for the coalition government of Roivas, which urged the West to unite against Vladimir Putin. Estonia suffered most violations of its airspace by Russian military aircraft since Moscow annexed Crimea.

The elections were held in the context of concern about Russian actions in the Ukrainian crisis. On the eve of the vote Russia organizes exercises near the border with Estonia, which strengthened concerns.

Defender of NATO and the free market Roivas, who is 35 years old is the youngest European leader. If he retain the premiership, will likely continue to conservative economic policy. Estonia has experienced a lot of success in economic terms.

“We have always been very open to our allies, and we want to continue on this path”, said Roivas, after announcing the victory of his party in the elections. Asked whether he would try to form a government with the centrists, Roivas categorically denied this option.

During the first mandate of Roivas, Estonia was one of the few NATO countries that kept to 2% of GDP spending on defense. Since 1992, Estonia has a flat tax and the strong fiscal policy kept Estonia with debt of 9.6% of GDP, against 175% of GDP in Greece. The unemployment in Estonia in 2014 was 7.4%, compared to 16.7% in 2010, when the country was in recession. A quarter of the population of Estonia is Russian-speaking and 70% of them support centrists. In 2004 centrists concluded a cooperation agreement with United Russia party of Vladimir Putin. Yesterday party leader Edgar Savisaar said that second place in the elections should not be a cause for disappointment for anyone. He added that one so much supported party can not be muted.

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