Election ads and politicians seeking to talk to voters appear in the street

Campaign tent in Tallinn.
Campaign tent in Tallinn. Source: ERR

The 2023 Riigikogu elections campaign is gearing up in Estonia, with posters and candidates looking to engage voters appearing in the streets.

The Estonian Greens handed out vegetable and flower seeds in Viimsi on Sunday morning. The party's activists told "Aktuaalne kaamera" that people are willing to share their ideas.

"Some walk up and ask questions, while others hurry along. Those who ask will get their answers. But it also seems people are knowledgeable and already know who they will vote for," said Greens member Oliver Liidemann.

In Pirita, the Center Party invited people to go skiing and ice skating with them, with Jüri Ratas' campaign bus and [Tallinn Mayor] Mihhail Kõlvart's train in attendance.

"I have yet to hear any cursing, which tends to happen. But the people have come out on purpose, they know what they are attending and have been very positive," party member Monika Haukanõmm said.

Isamaa delegates were handing out leaflets, candy and pens near the gate to the Baltic Station Market in Tallinn. [Minister of Public Administration] Riina Solman said that people recognize government ministers and are willing to share their concerns and fears.

"That there's war, that they are afraid and don't know what to do. The rest of it is nonsense... you all offer something but what will become of Estonia, happen in the world," Solman said in terms of what's on people's minds.

Eesti 200 board member Margus Tsahkna said that people who stop to talk to candidates are usually up to speed on politics and say they plan to vote. The Ukraine war and coping are weighing on people.

"They discuss potential results and who will get elected. I've done enough street campaigns in my life to know when I'm feeling good about them," he said.

The Parempoolsed had set up their tent close to the Nõmme Market, with people asking who they were and what they wanted to achieve in politics. It is the first time for the Isamaa offshoot to participate in Riigikogu elections.

Party leader Lavly Perling said that people have asked her about land tax.

"It has generally been a pleasant experience. People understand that only economic growth can yield prosperity," she remarked.

The Reform Party's tent was the only one near the entrance of the Kristiine Keskus shopping mall on Sunday, even though the spot tends to be popular with all parties. Reform's board member Kristen Michal said that candidates are now in a perpetual hurry.

"Three or four events weekly, plus morning and evenings, depending on how the land lies. Debates and programs on top of that. The last month, the home stretch will be very intense," he admitted.

Taking a drive in Tallinn, "Aktuaalne kaamera" failed to spot EKRE and the Social Democratic Party's (SDE) campaign tents on Sunday. However, campaign highlights are still to come. Advance polls will open on February 27.


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Editor: Karin Koppel, Marcus Turovski

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