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Estonia 200 names European elections candidate list

Lauri Hussar (back to camera) is running in top place for Estonia 200 on 26 May.
Lauri Hussar (back to camera) is running in top place for Estonia 200 on 26 May. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Estonia 200 has unveiled its candidate list for May's European Parliament elections, as it promised to do earlier in the week, BNS reports.

The list, published on Friday, follows a volte-face by Estonia 200, which had said on Monday it would not run a full, nine-candidate list, only to announce on the Tuesday that it would in fact do so.

Former editor-in-chief at daily Postimees is running at the number one spot on the party's European list, followed by party leader Kristina Kallas, and former defence minister Margus Tsahkna.

The party ran a full electoral list at 3 March general election, its debut at the polls after it was formed in the latter half of 2018. Despite performing quite strongly in opinion polls initially, the party took something of a nose-dive in January of this year, and narrowly missed out on the 5% threshold of votes required to get Riigikogu seats.

Recent opinion polls have put the party at around 10% in support, on a par with Isamaa and the Social Democratic Party (SDE), which may be enough to garner one of the six (or seven, depending on what happens with Brexit) MEP spots up for grabs on 26 May.

Estonia is special

In relation to his appointment, Mr Hussar said that a crisis of values is reigning in Europe, which could even lead to the collapse of the EU, according to BNS.

"Estonia 200 is not politically correct; we speak honestly about the future of Europe. Estonia is the flagship of innovation and smart solutions in Europe. Estonia must not send to the European Parliament populists who incite hatred," he said.

The party's election slogan, "Estonia is special!", focuses on setting an example to Europe in maintaining national values, ensuring security and reducing bureaucracy and over-regulation, the party stated.

"Estonia is special. It is a little miracle, which, in spite of location and many other circumstances, was born thanks to the efforts of the people of Estonia,'' said Kristina Kallas.

''We have something to lead in Europe. We will take more of Estonia to Europe. We will fight for an e-Europe, a Europe with world-class research and development, good connections and a strong economy, and a Europe that deals with climate change and environmental problems," Ms Kallas went on.

Margus Tsahkna, formerly of Isamaa, said that: "Security is our fundamental right and the EU is its guarantee. If we let populists demolish the EU bit by bit, we will be alone once again. We must not be naïve''.

In addition to Mr Hussar, Ms Kallas and Mr Tsahkna, the rest of the Estonia 200 list is filled by Liina Normet, Igor Taro, Triin Saag, Kaupo Kutsar, Kristiina Tõnnisson and Marek Reinaas.

Editor: Andrew Whyte

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