Parties' most popular candidates standing in Harju, Rapla counties

A voter casts a ballot at the 2019 Riigikogu election.
A voter casts a ballot at the 2019 Riigikogu election. Source: Aurelia Minev/ERR

Estonia's political parties' most popular and well-known candidates will stand in the Harju and Rapla election district in the upcoming election, the regions with the most mandates on offer.

Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform), Center Party chairman and former Prime Minister Jüri Ratas, Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu (Ismaaa), EKRE's Henn Põlluaas, MEP Marina Kaljurand (SDE), Parempoolsed Chairman Lavly Perling and Eesti 200 Chairman Lauri Hussar will all compete for votes in this district.

Alongside ministers, MEPs and Riigikogu members the parties will also field well-known locals and municipality politicians.

In previous Riigikogu elections, Reform has been the most popular party in the voting district, followed by EKRE, Center and Isamaa.

Reform wants to achieve the best possible result, said Timo Suslov, the party's general secretary.

"We have very tough competition and we have good people in general. There are also a lot of local government leaders, so I think we have a very strong team in Harju and Rapla County and we hope to do better than last time," he told Wednesday's "Aktuaalne kaamera".

Ratas will run in the area for the third time and the party's list includes both Riigikogu members and newcomers.

"I think that from this list the voter has the opportunity to choose different people. The most important thing is what they stand for, what their ideas are," he said.

Eesti 200's Hussar said the party has candidates across the whole district.

"This has certainly been deliberate. And I believe that if people can find people from their own region on the list, they will certainly come to vote for them," he told AK.

Paremoolsed's Perling said: "As we attach great importance to everything that happens at the local level, with their [local candidates] knowledge and experience we will make Estonia better, not only in Tallinn, but in all the smaller places."

Pollster Emor's Head of Research Aivar Voog said candidates with a nationwide profile are likely to be more successful.

However, standing in this district can also be risky for party chairmen, he added.

"You have the chance to win a lot of votes, but at the same time there is a very high risk that you could get a very bad result," he said.

The election takes place on March 5.

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Editor: Marko Tooming, Helen Wright

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