The ages of party members of Estonian parliamentary parties show that the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) is the oldest party on average with an average age of 58 years. Reform Party is the youngest parliamentary party with an average age of 46 years old.
The average age of 58 years old for EKRE is an average of the 8,962 party members. The party saw 400 new members join over the last year. EKRE's deputy chairman Mart Helme said that he had not seen such a large wave of membership before.
In addition to the 60 applications available in the public party registry, there are another 200 applications in EKRE's offices that need to be checked. Helme said there are another 200 applications in local districts.
"On Monday, the Harju-Rapla district accepted 34 members, 17 members joined from Finland, in Läänemaa [on Sunday] - I was there myself - there were three new members and that is how it adds up," Helme said.
According to the former interior minister, the reason for the hike in membership comes from EKRE being excluded from the current coalition. "I have chatted with some people and people are very bitter and say this is not how things should go in a democratic country. And I say it is a form of protest membership in a sense," Helme said.
Center, the party with the most members in Estonia (14,677) follows EKRE among parliamentary parties with an average age of 57. Over the last year, close to 500 people joined the party.
Center board member and Mustamäe district mayor Lauri Laats said people join the party after different actions and during election campaigns. He said that people join Center because of its world view and fresh party members do not look at the party being in coalition or opposition.
"I think the worldview has been taken to the people during the years and there is an understanding on what one or another party stands for," Laats noted.
The Social Democratic Party (5,323 members) boasts an average age of 56 years old, followed by Isamaa with 7,743 members and an average age of 50.
This makes prime ministerial Reform Party the youngest party in the Riigikogu with an average age of 46 years old over its 11,262 members. Reform was joined by some 125 people last year, Reform secretary-general Erkki Keldo said the party organized a campaign last year and there were more people joining during the campaign than normally.
Lauri Laats said: "There are different examples - there have been local government leaders, many experts joined during the last local municipality elections. I guess it goes with the organizatory work, you have to look for and communicate with different people.
The youngest party on average in Estonia is non-parliamentary Eesti 200 with an average age of 42 years old.
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste