Ida-Viru County turnout low, affected by disappointment in Centre, politics

A polling station in Narva, at the European elections on May 26, 2019.
A polling station in Narva, at the European elections on May 26, 2019. Source: Sergei Stepanov/ERR

Ida-Viru County registered Estonia's lowest turnout in Sunday's election at just 24.3 percent. Yana Toom (Centre), reelected to the European Parliament on Sunday, thinks that this is due to several recent events, including Raimond Kaljulaid leaving the Centre Party, a local corruption scandal in Narva revolving around a former Centre Party councillor, and the decision to enter government together with EKRE.

"There is a certain disappointment among the people, and there is this negativity in connection with the corruption scandal in Narva," Toom said, adding that there are many factors that influenced turnout.

This includes the case of Aleksei Voronov, a former Centre Party Narva city councillor currently facing corruption charges.

"There is also a general misunderstanding about what all the elected MEPs actually do in the European Parliament," Toom told ERR's ETV+ on Sunday evening. "We do our work there, but the result will only be felt in some 10 years, and that's a very long time."

For the first time, a representative of the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) is going to Brussels. Asked how she will work together with Jaak Madison, Toom said that "From among the entire list of the national-conservatives, Madison is the most adequate candidate."

Asked which committee she would hope to work with in the European Parliament, Toom said that she would prefer Petitions, Employment and Social Affairs, or Human Rights.

Toom received 27,003 votes in the May 26 European Parliament election, more than she did in 2014, when she got 25,251.

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: Ksenia Fadina, Dario Cavegn

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