Rõivas not going to Brussels, admits Isamaa did better than expected

Taavi Rõivas.
Taavi Rõivas. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Overtaken by fellow Reform member Urmas Paet, former Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas (Reform) has missed election and won't be going to Brussels. Still, he isn't disappointed, Rõivas says: his result was "decent," and Isamaa did better than expected, hence his missing out is "logical."

"It's a decent result, with a top-10 place and first just below the line," Rõivas said. "Isamaa's result was a few points better than expected." According to results published by the Electoral Committee on Monday, Rõivas ranks 10th in terms of personal votes and third among his party's candidates, with 7,707 votes to his name.

Rõivas was declassed by incumbent Urmas Paet, whose overall result puts him in third place, a whopping 22,303 votes ahead of the former prime minister.

The Reform Party nevertheless won the election, with outgoing vice-president of the European Commission, Andrus Ansip, and MEP Urmas Paet headed for their seats in the European Parliament.

"I'm still convinced that my experience as prime minister would be beneficial for Estonia in the European Parliament," Rõivas added. "But I'm certainly not disappointed. I think that in politics, you can't make plans assuming that you'll come in first in every election," he said.

Instead, Rõivas will continue as an MP in the Riigikogu, he said.

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: Dario Cavegn

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