Social Democrats: Hoping to Continue the Lean to the Left
After a patchy successful local election and swapping out IRL in the government, expectations will be high, but reality might come crashing down on the party, which only won a seat last time due to the fact that Indrek Tarand ran as an independent, not a political party.
Pro-Europe, opening their program with the slogan “A Strong Estonia – a Strong Europe.” The party backs union-wide tax for an impartial EU budget. Economy-wise, the Social Democrats concentrate on job creation, eliminating the sex-based salary gap and stricter control over banks. No mention of Ukraine or Russia, and very little about security.
Ivari Padar, now the new Agriculture Minister was the party's only MEP. The party won 8.7 percent of the vote, barely scraping through, but on the back of a mildly successful local election campaign, is expected to pick up more votes. As for Padar's service in the European Parliament, perhaps he was the most vocal of the six Estonian MEPs, playing a role in the quest to increase subsidies for Estonian farmers from the 2014 to 2020 European budget. That goal was achieved, and if the Rail Baltic project is scrapped, then higher subsidies will be the brightest win for Estonia in the new budget.
Marju Lauristin, one of the leaders of the independence movements at the end of the 80s, is receiving the most ad time. Now 74 and the great-grandmother of four, Lauristin.was a government minister at the beginning of the 90s, but has been more social activist and academic than politician. Marianne Mikko, former ETV correspondent, is also a likely candidate, while Abdul Turay has been talking up his chances. That list was longer only a few months ago, but many of the 12 Social Democrat names on the ballot are now ministers and unlikely to relocate west.