Former minister Anneli Ott running in Tartu in March general election

Anneli Ott.
Anneli Ott. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Former government minister Anneli Ott running third on the Center Party's electoral list in Tartu city, at next spring's general election.

Ott, who was culture minister, and also briefly public administration minister, in the Center/EKRE/Isamaa coalition which left office in January 2021, says she will stand up for the southeastern region as it faces its specific issues.

These issues include political culture evidenced by the current government, in respect of the "protection money" scheme, Ott says, and also the planned expansion of the Nursipalu training area. 

"The government representatives' plan would destroy the value of Võru County," she said. Ott.

While Ott has a political background in Võru, southeastern Estonia, a facet which was cited by the then government as a plus when she was appointed to the cabinet, she is running in the Reform Party-dominated Tartu city, a university town and 2024 European Capital of Culture.

Ott, a sitting MP, runs third behind Center's Tartu city council chair Jaan Toots and MP Aadu Must, and said she was initially inclined not to run this time around, but following a conversation with party leader Jüri Ratas, backed by the support of friends and taking into consideration political developments in recent months, changed her mind.

At the last local elections, in October 2021, Center picked up 8.2 percent of the vote in Tartu City, significantly down on its level at the previous local elections, in 2017 (when it polled at 13.7 percent) and well below the nationwide vote level of 24.4 percent of the electorate.

Anneli Ott received 1,474 votes in the Võru, Valga and Põlva counties constituency, at the March 2019 Riigikogu election.

The top three candidates in any party's electoral list, at any of the 12 Riigikogu electoral districts, is significant since these tend to be high-profile "vote magnet" figures who, it is hoped, will be able to distribute excess votes to candidates lower on the ordered list.

Under Estonia's d'Hondt system of proportional representation, once candidates clinch the threshold number of votes to obtain a seat, votes over and above that are redistributed to the next candidate(s) not to have done so. In this way, candidates lower down the list can win seats, whereas they would not have done in their own right.

The Riigikogu election takes place March 5, 2023.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte, Mari Peegel

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