IRL candidate Viktoria Ladõnskaja celebrated on Sunday, winning 1,395 votes in Tallinn, one more than fellow IRL member Sven Sester, and making it into Parliament.
A recount on Monday took two votes away from her, as the National Electoral Committee ruled that two ballot papers were spoiled. The decision means Sester beat Ladõnskaja by one vote and will take a seat in Parliament instead with 1,394 votes.
Ladõnskaja herself said many predicted she would not be able to win over ethnic Estonian IRL voters, nor Russian-speaking voters. “I am very happy that I could prove that a IRL candidate with a Russian-language background could be backed by both Estonians and Russians,” she told ETV.
IRL is considered a conservative, right-of-center party and often cited as having nationalistic tendencies. The party has consciously emphasized its conservative roots rather than a nationalist agenda.
Ladõnskaja was in the news immediately before the election in connection with an idea to set up Russian-language schools in cooperation with the Russian Federation government. The idea prompted a stinging rebuttal from Social Democrat Sven Mikser in the last line of the Saturday night debate, as Social Dem Education Minister Jevgeni Ossinovski backs teaching Estonian at an earlier age, saying the focus should not be on secondary schools.
Editor: J.M. Laats