Analyst: Ansip Still Dominant, Rise of Polarizing Issues Hurts True Integration (1)
Political analyst Ahto Lobajakas says that the big loser in Sunday night's European election results in Estonia was the integration process in Estonian society, and that former PM Andrus Ansip still has the most political capital in the country, leaving other parties in a secondary role.
"My first impressions, to be honest: Estonia has two prime ministers. [Prime Minister] Taavi Rõivas might well be confused about what has transpired - especially in the Reform Party. Ansip is still the most popular politician. Kaja Kallas is rising powerfully," he said on ETV this morning.
Lobjakas said that without the strong individual vote totals for Marju Lauristin, the Social Democrats would have had a dismal night, and he said he considered IRL's vote numbers relatively poor as well.
"As for what happened with Savisaar and Center, this party may even start to crumble. Reform has nothing to fear right now. All the other parties have major question marks by their names."
Asked who the election winner was, Lobjakas said that the opposition between parties and anti-party protest was the main trend, and that the issue was polarizing politics.
"And the loser could be the same integration process that the Center Party - no matter how poorly - has been representing."
"The Russian community is a very important question for us and it seems that the issue has been underestimated in the context of European elections - unfortunately."
In the election, Yana Toom, an MP who has been critical of Estonian constitutional law and government policy, won a seat in European Parliament, being the Center Party candidate with the most votes.