Kallas, one of Ukraine’s biggest European supporters, will have to work with junior partners to form a coalition government.
Voters in Estonia have elected a new parliament with almost complete results pointing to a major victory for Prime Minister Kaja Kallas’ centre-right Reform Party, one of Europe’s most outspoken supporters of Ukraine.
With 99 percent of the votes counted, Kallas’s liberal group was at 31.6 percent, followed by the far-right eurosceptic party EKRE at 16.1 percent, reflecting some voters’ concerns about the rising cost of living in the aftermath of the crisis. Russian invasion of Ukraine. The Center Party, traditionally favored by Estonia’s sizable ethnic Russian minority, had 14.7 percent.
“This result, which is not yet final, gives us a strong mandate to put together a good government,” Kallas, 45, told her party mates and cheering supporters at a hotel in the Baltic nation’s capital, Tallinn. .
Preliminary results suggested six parties have passed the 5 percent support threshold needed to enter the 101-seat parliament, or Riigikogu, including newcomer Eesti 200, a liberal centrist party. Turnout was 63.7 percent, little changed from the previous election.
Estonia, a country of 1.3 million on Russia’s northwestern border, has been one of Kiev’s most outspoken supporters since Moscow invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022. Military aid to Ukraine amounts to more than one percent of gross domestic product (GDP) — each country’s largest contribution relative to the size of its economy.
Kallas said any government she formed would continue to put pressure on Russia.
“We have to invest in our safety, our aggressive neighbor has not disappeared and will not disappear, so we have to work on that,” she told reporters.
Reform is a centre-right liberal party that appeals to entrepreneurs and young professionals.
It has pledged to increase military spending to at least three percent of GDP and cut taxes on businesses. It also wants to pass a law that would approve same-sex civil partnerships.
The latest results give the Reform Party 37 seats in the legislature, and Kallas needs junior partners to form a coalition with a comfortable majority to govern.
Estonia broke away from the Soviet Union in 1991 and is a member of NATO and the European Union.