A delegation of Prime Minister Jüri Ratas' Centre Party stopped by the State Electoral Office on Tuesday morning to hand in its list of 125 candidates for the upcoming general election on 3 March.
The Centre Party's list sports 35 women and 90 men. Of the total of 125 candidates, 107 hold a certificate of higher education, and 78 have experience with government work at the local level. The youngest Centre Party candidate is 26, the oldest 80 years old.
The deadline for parties and candidates is 17 January, with the next important date in the ongoing campaign being 23 January, when the customary outdoor advertising ban enters into effect and the parties have to find other ways to persuade voters leading up to election day.
A number of other parties and candidates have already submitted their lists. The leading opposition party, Reform, handed in theirs on Tuesday morning, while the Estonian United Left Party, the Social Democrats, and the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) did so even earlier.
Two independent candidates, Jüri Malsub and Veiko Tani, have also submitted their documents and paid the necessary deposit to stand for election.
Any eligible citizen may nominate themselves, but has to make a security deposit in the amount of one month's minimum salary (five months' minimum salary in the case of a European election).
This means that the security deposit is currently €500, as that is the minimum salary agreed on by Estonia's unions and employers for 2019.
Candidates are paid back if they are elected, if they receive votes to the extent of at least one-half of the simple quota in the electoral district, or if the candidates of the political party receive at least 5% of the vote nationally.
There are 12 electoral districts in Estonia from which the 101 Riigikogu members are drawn. Parties can run up to two more candidates than the limit for that electoral district; the two candidates with the lowest number of votes received will be struck off immediately in that case. Remaining votes are distributed across the candidate list using a modified form of the d'Hondt proportional representation system; any remaining seats once that is done are mopped up using the same system on a national basis.
Editor: Dario Cavegn