Reform Party takes landslide win in 2023 Riigikogu elections

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Estonian politicians reacting to the results of the 2023 Riigikogu elections being announced late Sunday night. March 5, 2023.
Estonian politicians reacting to the results of the 2023 Riigikogu elections being announced late Sunday night. March 5, 2023. Source: Ken Mürk/Priit Mürk/ERR

The Reform Party won 37 seats and 31 percent of the vote in Estonia's 2023 Riigikogu elections on Sunday evening. Kaja Kallas (Reform) is on course to return as prime minister and lead the next coalition.

After the final votes had been counted at approximately 1 a.m., Reform had 37 seats, EKRE 17, Center 16, Eesti 200 won 14, the Social Democrats nine and Isamaa eight.

This means six parties will be represented in the next parliament.

There are 101 seats in the Riigikogu and coalitions need 51 for a majority.

"It seems that the voter has spoken. From what I gathered from the screen, we did quite well for ourselves," Kallas said after the results were announced.

"I want to thank all voters. I thank you for your trust, I thank you for the opportunity to head the government for nearly two years now, and indeed for your votes. We are very grateful for your assessment of our work. All our candidates who have done a brilliant job, brought home all these votes... It is teamwork, no one can do it alone," she said.

Kallas also received 31,821 personal mandates a new record high for any Estonian politician.

EKRE leader Martin Helme has said that he does not trust the e-vote result, and wants a recount.

In total, 615,009 voters participated, over half — 313,514 — online. This is the highest turnout since Estonia regained its independence.

See more results on the Election Committee's website.

Kallas: We will discuss all options with the board tomorrow

"The voter's expectation is for the Reform Party to take the lead in the new government. That much is for certain. We will have to discuss everything else. We have already discussed what our candidates have taken away from talking with voters, their expectations. We will have a board meeting tomorrow to talk about our options," Kallas told ETV's "Valimiste õhtu" show.

Kaja Kallas. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

"We have been in touch with all other parties before elections and tried to get a feel for common ground. Based on the results, we should first discuss the situation among ourselves and take it from there. But we will also get in touch with everyone before the night is out," Kallas remarked.

Kallas told Vikerraadio that both two and three-way coalitions have their pros and cons.

The results suggest the party could form a coalition holding 53 seats with the Center Party or, for example, a 60-seat so-called liberal coalition with Eesti 200 and the Social Democrats.

Kallas also suggested that based on Reform's considerable lead, the new coalition should allocate ministerial positions proportionally rather than equally.


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Editor: Barbara Oja, Helen Wright, Marcus Turovski

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