Syndicate content

Centrist parties win in Estonia, as far-right makes significant gains

Monday, 4 March, 2019 - 17:15

The opposition centre-right Reform party opposition party won 34 seats in Sunday’s parliamentary elections, while the ruling Center party won 26, according to results released on Monday morning by the State Electoral Office official website.

Two small parties in the ruling coalition, Pro Patria and the Social Democrats, won 12 and 10 seats respectively, while the euro-sceptic far-right People’s Party (EKRE) won 19 seats.

Following the announcement of the results Prime Minister Juri Ratas, who leads the Center party, said that he will now work to ensure that his party belongs to the next government, state television channel ETV reported.

With five formations in parliament, setting up a coalition is likely to be complex. The center and the Reformation, traditional adversaries, have alternated in power and sometimes ruled together since Estonia broke free from Soviet rule more than a quarter of a century ago. Both support the European Union and NATO and emphasised a tight control public spending, giving Estonia the lowest debt-to-GDP ratio in the euro area.

The Center pledged to increase pensions by 8.4 percent and to replace the single 20 percent income tax rate with a progressive, incremental system to increase government revenue. The Reformation, closer to the business community, would like to increase the share of tax-free monthly income and reduce the unemployment insurance contribution. The unemployment rate is moving below 5 percent, while growth is expected to reach 2.7 percent this year, after growing 3.9 percent in 2018.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.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