Despite losing in the party's internal elections to Mart Saarso, Tallinn City Council member Moonika Helme will head into the 2019 Riigikogu elections as the top Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) candidate in the electoral district of Lääne, Hiiu and Saare Counties.
Hardi Rekhalt, head of EKRE's Lääne County branch, told regional paper Lääne Elu that Saarso earned more votes than Helme in internal elections, but Helme took the party's top spot in the region regardless. This is due to the fact that according to EKRE's voting procedures, each of the top three spots per electoral district are voted for separately. Votes were cast by secret ballot.
According to EKRE deputy chairman Martin Helme, the party's council-approved election procedure stipulates that in order to determine the order of candidates in an electoral district, separate votes are held for each of the top three positions.
"This means that a candidate or candidates are nominated for each position," Helme told ERR. "The fact that only one candidate, Helle-Moonika Helme, ran for the top spot and earned more votes in favour than against, means that she was elected to the top spot. There was likewise only one candidate for the second spot — Mart Saarso — and he also earned more votes in favour than against, with which he was elected to the second spot. While Saarso earned more votes in favour than Helme did, according to valid procedures, there will be no reordering [of candidates]."
Editor: Aili Vahtla