All candidates running for the European Parliament in the summer were revealed on Thursday, with 89 people going into the fray (compared to the 101 candidates in 2009), ranging from government ministers to foreign independent candidates.
Eight out of the nine political parties registered in Estonia submitted their documents. There are 72 party candidates and 17 independent candidates. In comparison, in 2009, there were only six candidates.
Head of the electoral commission Alo Heinsalu told ERR's radio news that the documents will now be processed and corrections made if necessary.
There are three foreign citizens running: British citizens Abdul Turay (Social Democrats) and Lance Gareth Edward Boxall (independent) and Dutch citizen Joeri Wiersma (independent).
The candidates will be registered on May 15, followed by a draw to put together the lineups and assign candidate numbers. On the same day, electronic voting and advance voting in country centers will take place. Advance polls will last seven days and for the last three days, all voting stations will be open.
Juku-Kalle Raid, who recently had to leave his post as an IRL MP due to the coalition change, is running as a candidate for the Estonian Independence Party, along with Hardo Aasmäe, most recently the mayoral candidate of the election coalition Free Tallinn Citizen, actress Merle Jääger and poet Sven Sildnik, who is mostly by his nom de plume "(:)kivisildnik".
The list of independent candidates include current MEPs Indrek Tarand and Kristiina Ojuland, Center Party member Olga Sõtnik, Reform Party whistleblower Silver Meikar and Meelis Kaldalu, who gained notoriety with his bizarre antics during and following the president's reception in 2013.
The candidate list also includes several ministers such as Jevgeni Ossinovski, Urve Palo, Ivari Padar, Jürgen Ligi, Urmas Paet and Urve Tiidus, as well as Speaker of Parliament Eiki Nestor, former Prime Minister Andrus Ansip, and current Tallinn mayor Edgar Savisaar.