Number of independent Riigikogu candidates increases to five ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Toompea Castle, seat of the Riigikogu: independent candidates will run also this year, but unless they can whip up an impressive following, they are unlikely to get elected. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

Along with parties submitting their official candidate lists, several independents have nominated themselves as candidates in the upcoming general election on 3 March. While citizens Jüri Malsub and Veiko Tani submitted their papers already earlier, Sergei Svjatušenko, Risto Nahkor and Üllar Kruustik added theirs on Tuesday morning.

There have been a number of independents running in every parliamentary election in Estonia since the country regained its independence in 1991, but the number of those actually elected is very small.

For every independent candidate, standing for election means a financial commitment as well. Candidates are required to make a security deposit when they officially enter the race that they get back only if they are elected.

The deposit at the moment is €500 (€2,500 for the European Elections coming up later this year), or one month's minimum salary.

With Svjatušenko, Nahkor and Kruustik, the number of independent candidates in this year's election so far rises to five. Altogether 11 independents ran in the last general election in 2015. They got 887 votes, or 0.2% of total votes cast, not enough for a personal mandate in any of Estonia's electoral districts.

From Estonia's parties, so far EKRE, the United Left Party, the Social Democrats, the Reform Party and the Centre Party have submitted their lists. Still to follow are Pro Patria, Estonia 200, the Free Party, Richness of Life, and Will of the People. They have time until 18.00 EET on 17 January.

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Editor: Dario Cavegn

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