Political scientist: Extraordinary elections would not benefit parties

Martin Mölder.
Martin Mölder. Source: ERR

Recent days' tensions in the coalition have raised the question of extraordinary elections. Political analyst Martin Mölder believes they would not benefit political parties at this time.

Mölder told ERR that extraordinary elections in Estonia would change little for the Reform Party, Center Party or EKRE today, while Isamaa would need more time before elections.

"They need more time to boost their rating, which snap elections would not leave them. The Social Democratic Party (SDE) would need even more time," he said.

The Constitution provides four ways in which extraordinary elections can be called. The first is when three consecutive attempts to form a government fail. The chance is also created when a bill put up for referendum fails to secure majority support or if the Riigikogu fails to pass the state budget inside two months of the start of the fiscal year.

The fourth option would fit the bill today. A motion of no confidence in the government or prime minister would allow the president to declare extraordinary elections following a proposal from the government inside three days.

Mölder said he holds extraordinary elections unlikely at this time as Center, whose votes could be used to bring a motion of no confidence against the PM is rather seeking the prime minister's resignation.

"A situation where Center could emerge victorious and Reform defeated in appearing as the sole political force that did not wish to help children and families. Or in dismantling the government in a fragile security situation," Mölder offered.

Center Party whip Jaanus Karilaid presented the parliament with a bill aimed at supporting families with children last week signed by 54 Center and opposition MPs.

PM Kallas said at last week's government press conference that the bill constitutes an ultimatum from Center, and should the bill be voted into law around Midsummer, it would signal the birth of a new coalition without Reform.

Both parties have since then signaled they are not seeking a government collapse.

While extraordinary elections have been considered in the past, they have not taken place in Estonia.

Former Riigikogu Speaker Eiki Nestor said he believes the time is not right.

"It would be an unfortunate development in the currently serious situation because it would lead to point-scoring as opposed to considering the interests of the country among politicians. That is why I believe an extraordinary election should not get in the way of governance today," Nestor said.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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