Four years after a successful debut in the 2015 Riigikogu election, where it earned 8.7% of the vote and 8 seats in the 101-seat Riigikogu, the Free Party will now be out of the Riigikogu altogether, having earned just 1.2% of the vote and thus falling well below the 5% election threshold.
"The ship is afloat regardless of whether or not we make it into the Riigikogu," Free Party chairman Kaul Nurm said live on ETV on Sunday night, before the election results were finalised. "The party will sail on, and in any case our next assignment is to put together an election list for the European Parliament elections, and to run for the European Parliament regardless of what the final results are today."
Mr Nurm blamed the lack of support for the party primarily on the media's treatment of the 2019 Riigikogu elections, noting that the country's two biggest private media houses routinely ignored the Free Party and other smaller parties in favour of six alleged favourites. As a result, he said, the party's solid election programme did not reach enough voters.
As of Sunday, 3 March, the Free Party had 568 members.
The 2019 European Parliament elections will be held from 23-26 May.
Editor: Aili Vahtla