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Estonia 200 registers as party

Estonia 200 paraphernalia.
Estonia 200 paraphernalia. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Just a day after the announcement that the Biodiversity Party has filed documentation to register as a party, the other new political group on the scene, Estonia 200, is now officially in business.

The party was registered as a party on Friday, though its full list of members has yet to be listed on the commercial register website as per procedure.

The embryonic party was first announced by daily Postimees in May with a letter signed by Priit Alamäe, Indrek Nuume, Küllike Hein, Kristina Kallas and Kristiina Tõnnisson.

Rapid growth

Attracting members was the next stage; under Estonian law a party must list a minimum of 500 members to legally register, and Kristina Kallas was subsequently chosen as party leader.

It also attracted its first big name from the political sphere, former Pro Patria defence minister, Margus Tsakhna.

The party's platform is largely free market oriented and as such it is likely to claim votes from former Reform and Isamaa/Pro Patria supporters, though it is socially progressive on many issues and so could appeal to disillusioned Social Democratic Party (SDE) voters too.

Already fifth most popular party

One live issue it has taken a stance on is citizenship, saying it favours allowing dual citizenship for those with Estonian citizenship and that of another state; current Estonian law is not clear on the issue as to what happens with children of mixed nationality parents, amongst other questions.

The party has also made impressive gains at the opinion polls considering it is as yet untested. The most recent research, by the two market leading pollsters AS Turu-uuringute, and Kantar Emor, put the party at 8-9% of popular support, which means Estonia 200 outstrips coalition partner Pro Patria as well as the Free Party, which is represented in parliament. It is also just behind SDE, according to the research.

Since the threshold for getting seats at the Riigikogu is 5%, if the general election due in March was to be held today, Estonia 200 would pick up parliamentary spots.

That said, the party still needs to select its candidates lists for the election. Most of the major parties have named their primary candidate for each of Estonia's 12 electoral districts.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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