The Latest: Center-right tops Estonia vote, populists gain

By – Associated Press – Sunday, March 3, 2019

TALLINN, Estonia (AP) – The Latest on ’s general election (all times local):

12:35 a.m.

Preliminary results from ’s parliamentary election show a center-right party that held the prime minister’s office for over a decade was the top vote-getter, but a far-right populist party also had a big win.

Returns reported early Monday from all of the small Baltic country’s 451 polling places gave the 28.8 percent of the vote from Sunday’s election.

Prime Minister ‘ , the senior partner in a coalition government, received 23 percent. The nationalist Estonian Conservative People’s Party, known as EKRE, had 17.8 percent.

Traditional power-brokers had hoped to prevent EKRE from gaining seats in parliament and vowed not to include it in a governing coalition.

The held the prime minister’s post continuously from 2005-2016. Its current leader, Kaja Kallas, is the daughter of the party’s founder, former prime minister .

___

10:00 p.m.

A center-right party that held the prime minister’s office in for over a decade has a good-sized lead with ballots from more than half of polling stations counted.

Results from 280 of the small Baltic country’s 451 polling places gave the 32.3 percent of the vote in a parliamentary election held Sunday.

The party held the prime minister’s post continuously from 2005-2016

The senior partner in the current coalition government, Prime Minister ‘ , had overcome a far-right nationalist party to reach second place with 18 percent.

Reform and Center both hope to keep the nationalist Estonian Conservative People’s Party from increasing its presence in parliament. EKRE was running third with 17.3 percent.

Many of the returns so far are from smaller districts. The percentages could change greatly once counts come in from large districts in ’s capital, Tallinn.

___

9:00 p.m.

The first results from a parliamentary election in put the main opposition party ahead and a far-right populist party placing ahead of the main party in the coalition now governing the small Baltic country.

With ballots from 122 of 451 polling stations counted, the center-right had 37 percent of the vote from Sunday’s election. The party held the prime minister’s post continuously from 2005-2016

The nationalist Estonian Conservative People’s Party had 15 percent and Prime Minister ‘ left-leaning had 13.4 percent of votes.

Some 26 percent of ’s nearly 1 million eligible voters made their choices online by a Feb. 27 electronic voting deadline. Those votes were tallied first and included in the polling station results.

___

8:35 p.m.

Polls have closed in , where voters cast ballots in a parliamentary election that was expected to be a close race between the left-leaning party of the current prime minister and the main center-right opposition party.

Both Prime Minister ‘ and the center-right shared the goal of keeping the nationalist Estonian Conservative People’s Party at bay.

Sunday’s election in the small Baltic country, a member of both NATO and the European Union, took place as the far-right Estonian Conservative People’s Party, appears to be gaining popularity.

Nearly 1 million voters were eligible to elect representatives for the next four years to the 101-seat Riigikogu legislature.

Officials said voter turnout was 57 percent four hours before polls closed.

___

1:50 p.m.

The leader of ’s main opposition party has voted in the general election and accused Prime Minister ‘ government of “messing up” the small Baltic nation’s taxation system.

Estonians are voting Sunday in a general election where the opposition center-right is challenging ‘ left-leaning with a focus on socio-economic issues, such as taxation.

leader Kaja Kallas told The Associated Press while voting in central Tallinn that “the topic that most people talk about are the taxes” and that ‘ Cabinet “has totally messed (up) the tax system, excise duties, income tax system and people are really annoyed by this.”

Among other things, ‘ government has substantially increased excise duties on alcohol, partly on health grounds, and reformed ’s flat income tax, a cornerstone of the economy. has one of the highest rates of alcohol-related deaths in Europe.

___

9 a.m.

Estonians have started voting in a parliamentary election in the small Baltic nation in a ballot where Prime Minister and his are pitted against the center-right opposition and where populists are seen making inroads.

Sunday’s vote in the NATO and the European Union member of 1.3 million comes as the far-right, nationalist Estonian Conservative People’s Party, EKRE, has substantially increased its popularity since the 2015 election.

Both main contenders wish to keep it at bay.

Nearly a million voters are eligible to elect representatives for the next four years to the 101-seat Riigikogu legislature.

About 26 percent have previously cast their votes online. Electronic voting pioneer was the first country in the world to use online balloting for a national election in 2005.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our before commenting.

 

Click to and View Comments

Click to Hide

Receive News & Ratings Via Email - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.