Assessing Centre election results, Ratas cites limited financial capacities
Speaking to ERR on Monday morning, Centre Party chairman and Prime Minister Jüri Ratas said that he was satisfied with his party's results in the 2019 European Parliament elections, but nonetheless referred to its limited financial means for campaigning this time.
"The Centre Party hoped to earn one to two mandates in this election," Ratas told ERR. "We earned one mandate, and we are thankful to the residents of Estonia for it, and we are satisfied with the results."
The prime minister highlighted that while the coalition Centre Party, Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) and Isamaa earned a total of 37 percent of votes in the European election, in comparison, the Reform-Pro Patria and Res Publica Union (IRL) coalition earned 27 percent of the vote in June 2009, with Andrus Ansip continuing to serve as prime minister both before and after the elections.
He also noted that while Reform's top candidate Andrus Ansip lost votes compared to his results five years ago, Centre Party top candidate Yana Toom gained a few thousand since the previous European elections.
"It is clear that the Centre Party ran in the 2019 European Parliament elections with very limited funding," Ratas stressed. "But on the other hand, it can be said that this increased our candidates' involvement across Estonia, which provided the obligation and opportunity to meet [with voters] face-to-face."
The Centre chairman said that as the party did not earn two mandates, that gives them something to reflect and analyze.
The Centre Party received 47,819 votes in the 2019 European Parliament elections, earning 14.4 of the vote. In comparison, five years ago the party earned 22.4 percent of all votes cast in Estonia.
As of Monday morning, the Reform Party is the clear winner of the 2019 EU election in Estonia, with 26.6 percent of the vote, followed by the Social Democratic Party (SDE) with 23.3 percent, the Centre Party with 14.4 percent, and the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) by 12.7 percent.
This means that Estonia's six MEPs following the EU election on May 26 are Marina Kaljurand (SDE), Andrus Ansip (Reform), Urmas Paet (Reform), Yana Toom (Centre), Jaak Madison (EKRE), and Sven Mikser (SDE).
Isamaa with 10.3 percent and its list leader, former Commander of the Estonian Defence Forces Riho Terras, will be called upon to fill a potential seventh seat should the U.K. leave the European Union, and the European Parliament be reorganized accordingly.
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Editor: Aili Vahtla