In Estonian Municipal Elections, Center Party Holds Onto Power in Tallinn, Right-Leaning Parties Prevail in Tartu (14)
In Estonia's nationwide municipal elections on Sunday, incumbent mayor Edgar Savisaar's Center Party fended off a challenge by opposition parties to retain its majority in the Tallinn City Council.
Just before midnight, ETV projected a Center Party victory in Tallinn.
An hour and a half later, all 97 precincts had finalized their results. Center will take 46 of the possible 79 mandates. The three other major parties combined will hold the 34 seats.
Center picked up 52.65 percent of the votes in Tallinn. IRL, the Center Party's main rival in the capital, garnered the highest portion of e-votes cast during the October 10-16 advance voting period - 35.7 percent - but the party, fronted in the city by businessman and diplomat Eerik-Niiles Kross, only managed to pull in 19.17 percent of the total (16 seats). However, it is an improvement of almost four percentage points on IRL's 2009 local election result in Tallinn.
Results for opposition parties Reform and the Social Democrats in Tallinn were 10.59 percent (9 seats) and 9.92 percent (8 seats), respectively, while elections coalition Vaba Tallinna Kodanik (Free Citizen of Tallinn) had less than the minimum 5 percent voter threshold needed for a seat on the city council.
The Conservative People's Party likewise did not pick up enough votes for representation.
Preliminary results on election night show voter turnout across the country at 57.68 percent, slightly down from the 60.57 percent who turned out for municipal elections in 2009. The number of eligible voters this time was 1,086,955.
Reform Party, IRL Prevail in Tartu
Tartu has finalized its figures, with all 11 of the precincts reporting. The two national coalition parties, which are most likely to form a coalition, have an outright majority - Reform Party with 15 seats and IRL with 11. The Center Party has 9 seats and the Social Democrats have 8 seats. Two election coalitions, Vabakund and Free Patriotic Citizen, each have three.