The Center Party, after winning the 2021 local elections, is gearing up for its next challenge 15 months from now as the coalition party aims to win the election and form Estonia's next government, leader Jüri Ratas said in a speech to members.
"We need to make efforts to be able to realize promises we have made to voters, represent our views and ideas. We have turned the state's countenance toward people over the last five years, while more needs to be accomplished," Jüri Ratas said. "The Center Party took the most votes nationwide at local government council elections and is involved in decision-making in 28 local governments on both the council and executive levels. This includes the capital Tallinn where the party took more votes than four years ago. We have reason to be proud! This means that the Center Party cannot aim for anything less than winning the 2023 [Riigikogu] election and forming the next government."
Ratas believes Center has a good starting position – the Norstat poll gives the party a 22 percent supporting rating that is good enough for second place.
"There is another change in Estonian politics that I consider crucial. The rise of Eesti 200 at the previous elections," Ratas said. "We need to commend them for their political work ethic and ingenuity and the fact they are giving established parties a run for our money. It is welcome. Eesti 200 leader Kristina Kallas invited [former] President Kersti Kaljulaid to join politics in a recent Eesti Päevaleht interview. I believe it to be a serious and positive proposal. Every new person can lend our politics new blood and ideas. I dare say four parties will be competing for the Riigikogu elections victory this time."
Ratas also said that the nation is looking at exciting election debates as topics in need of solutions are myriad.
"What to do about taxes? How to ensure free preschool education all over Estonia? What investments and decisions are needed to have Estonia lead the way in science and innovation? How to improve healthcare and nursing places availability? How to explain decisions to voters? There are definitely more questions than answers today, while I hope that will soon change," the Center leader told members.
Editor: Marcus Turovski