Entire Estonian Greens' party board resigns in wake of election result

The Estonian Greens gathered in Põhja-Öökull, on election night, March 5.
The Estonian Greens gathered in Põhja-Öökull, on election night, March 5. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

The Estonian Green Party (Rohelised) leadership and board has resigned wholesale.

The Greens polled at 1 percent at the March 5 Riigikogu elections, below the 5 percent threshold needed to win seats, but also below the 2 percent level needed to qualify for state support.

ERR's Russian-language portal reports (link in Russian) that the board is to resign in full, with its replacement to be elected at a general meeting in late April.

This followed a proposal to do so from party board member Marti Soosaar, made on March 8 (link in Estonian).

In a letter sent to party-mates, Soosaar wrote that: "Our results at the Riigikogu elections were at least twice as bad as our ratings and as last year's results, not to mention that achieving even those relatively modest numbers would not have guaranteed us seats in the Riigikogu, and therefore the green transition in society that we really want to see."

"As to the reasons why we lost, of course there were many of these, some of which did not depend on us alone. However, it is fair to say that the most important factor was the required things that we did not carry out ourselves, followed by those things that we did incorrectly," Soosaar went on.

The current board consists of co-chairs Johanna Maria Tõugu and Marko Kaasik, along with Liina Freivald, Kaspar Kurve, Piret Räni, Aleksander Laane, Helina Tilk, Timur Sagitov, plus Soosaar.

The Greens picked up 5,886 votes nationwide at the March 5 elections, a figure, for instance, 86 votes fewer than Lauri Laats (Center) received on his own, in the Mustamäe and Nõmme (Tallinn) electoral district.

Fifty-eight candidates ran for the Greens. Parties are permitted to run up to 125 candidates nationwide at Riigikogu elections, but due to budget reasons the smallest parties often do not do so.

Each candidate thus on average polled at 100 votes for the Greens, compared with 400 per candidate for Isamaa, which was the party which performed most poorly of all those who actually got elected – ie. who surpassed the 5-percent threshold.

The Greens' 1.0 percent support was also less than their support at the 2019 Riigkogu election, and means they also missed out on the minimum state budget support of €30,000 per year (the newly-formed Parempoolsed party qualified for this). At the same time, in 2019 the Greens came agonizingly close to the 2 percent level needed for state support, at 1.8 percent.

The Greens have 863 members at present, ERR reports.

A political party must have a minimum of 500 members to qualify as such.

Other sources of revenue other than state support consist mainly of membership fees and donations.

The party, which held Riigikogu seats back in 2007-2011, has been plagued by financial problems in recent years, while one of its highest-profile members, former leader Zuzu Izmailova, left the party to run for Eesti 200 on March 5.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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