Barbi Pilvre: Estonia 200 and Social Democrats should join forces ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

MP Barbi Pilvre (SDE).
MP Barbi Pilvre (SDE). Source: Andres Haabu/Eesti Meedia/Scanpix

According to outgoing MP Barbi Pilvre (SDE), the Social Democratic Party and newcomer Estonia 200, which did not manage to crack the 5% election threshold in the 3 March elections, should consider joining forces in the long term.

"Of course the SDE also lost votes to Estonia 200 in Tallinn simply because the electorate is the same and some just wanted change and new faces," Ms Pilve wrote in her blog. "This is understandable in a way; people often want new politicians the same way they want new clothes every spring or at least every four years. Estonia 200 and the SDE should actually join forces in the long term, but that of course puts a damper on the motivation of many newcomers, as established, often invisible power hierarchies lie ahead of them already."

Ms Pilvre, who ran unsuccessfully for re-election on Sunday, also said that voters' thirst for something new is understandable, but the system of political decision-making in the Riigikogu is so rigid that all kinds of new ideas get lost in the process of achieving consensus.

"It's worth watching the current process of forming a coalition, where they are 'seeking common ground' over which the majority will agree," she said. "Positions will ultimately be wrung so out of shape that they satisfy everyone, but unfortunately there is no other way to make decisions in politics. Regarding experts, politicians sometimes consult with experts as well, and then agree on what is possible to sell voters on."

Several Social Democratic politicians, in particular party chairman Jevgeni Ossinovski, have said it was from the SDE that Estonia 200, which earned 4.4% of the vote but did not reach the 5% election threshold for being elected to the Riigikogu, stole support.

"I spoke with [Estonia 200 chairwoman] Kristina Kallas last summer, and she said that Estonia 200 would steal votes from the Reform Party; I said that they would steal them from the Social Democrats," Mr Ossinovski said on Vikerraadio following Reform's election win.

The party chairman believed that Estonia 200 cost the SDE four or five seats in the Riigikogu.

The SDE earned 55,168 votes in Sunday's election, with support thus dropping from 15.2% and 15 seats in the 2015 elections to 9.8% and ten seats this year.

Estonia 200 earned 24,447 votes on Sunday, falling below the 5% threshold of 28,056.6 votes.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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