Parties step up election campaigns ({{commentsTotal}})

With parliamentary elections only 53 days away political parties have stepped up ad campaigns and rhetoric.

Social Democrats and IRL both said their principle contrast the Reform Party the most, the Center Party has picked the previous Reform Party-IRL coalition government as its greatest opponent and the Reform Party said it disagrees most with the Center Party.

The Reform Party unveiled its double-decker campaign bus, decked out in yellow with a large picture of Party Chairman, and PM, Taavi Rõivas and the slogan “Firmly forward.” The bus also acts as a cafe, which is not an original idea after both Mart Laar and Edgar Savisaar have had cafes named after them during election periods.

Reform Party Secretary General Martin Kukk said they do not approve of the Center Party's pro-Kremlin leaning and their take on security policies.

The Center Party, second after the Reform Party at both the 2011 and 2007 parliamentary elections, is going with a “We will do it differently” slogan, aimed at the last right-wing government. “With Tallinn as an example we have shown things can be done differently,” Kukk's Center Party counterpart Priit Toobal said, adding that they also are planning to open cafes.

Social Democrat Inderk Saar said they have gone with similar, but not identical slogans, for the ethnic Estonian and ethnic Russian demographics.

“The principle difference is whether the state deals with people, or with houses and cars. And whether the (governing) models which were successful in 2009 also have perspective in 2015 and in the future,” Saar said, commenting on why SDE has named the Reform Party as its greatest opponent, despite the fact that the two parties are currently in a coalition together.

Juhan Parts, IRL's candidate for the PM position, said the Center Party has been its main target, but the rivalry with the Reform Party has top priority now.

IRL is going with “Better education, a better job, a better salary” as its slogan.

The Conservative Peoples' Party has been the most visible non-Parliament party so far, with giant outdoor ads featuring its candidates and the slogan “It is time!”

According to self-published estimates, the Social Democrats plan to spend around 500,000 euros while others have earmarked double that on election campaigns.

Editor: L. Viirand, J.M. Laats

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