2019 Riigikogu Election

Riigikogu committee to draw up report on interference in Western elections

21.07.18 ... The Foreign Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu has decided to compile a report addressing attacks that have taken place in recent years against the democratic elections of Western countries and the defence capabilities of the countries that have fended off these attacks.

Gallery: Prime Minister gets firsthand look at Ruhnu lifestyle

20.07.18 ... Prime Minister Jüri Ratas visited the Estonian island of Ruhnu on Thursday evening, and met with the local people and community leaders to discuss both the positives and negatives of life on the island.

Huge variation in incidence of payment of party membership dues

15.07.18 ... Whilst the Isamaa/Pro Patria Party may have raised the highest amount of money in donations of any of the main Estonian political parties in the second quarter of 2018, it turns out that this is no thanks to party membership fees, and in fact the party has the smallest proportion of members who pay their fees.

Parliamentary committees react to Brussels summit feedback

14.07.18 ... Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas and Foreign Minister Sven Mikser yesterday, Friday, gave an overview of the outcomes of the NATO summit in Brussels to members of the Estonian Parliamentary (Riigikogu) Foreign Affairs and National Defence Committees.

Reform Party leader confident about 2019 elections

12.07.18 ... The leader of the Reform Party (Reformierakond), Kaja Kallas, believes that the party will under her leadership win the general elections next spring and is not ruling out cooperation with any political party when a coalition government has to be formed.

Internal tensions in Social Democratic Party as Saar challenges Ossinovski

11.07.18 ... A party leadership meeting some two weeks ago apparently got emotional as Minister of Culture Indrek Saar challenged party chairman and Minister of Health and Labour Jevgeni Ossinovski. While its most important personalities say they appreciate the party's open culture and its ability to handle things internally, the debates about its future continue.

Estonia 200 want to see 15% support before they start new party

10.07.18 ... Kristina Kallas, one of the leaders of political initiative Estonia 200, affirmed on Monday that establishing a party is not the group's primary aim, and that they will consider it only if by the end of the summer they have at least 15% support in voter surveys.

Leaders of Estonia 200 movement consider establishment of party likely

28.06.18 ... Leaders of the Estonia 200 political movement consider it very likely that the movement will develop into a political party this autumn already.

Rail Baltica line in sand for Riigikogu hopefuls Estonian Greens

28.06.18 ... The Estonian Greens are hoping to earn 11 seats in the 101-seat Riigikogu in the 2019 election, but the party will not consider joining a coalition that favors moving forward with the Rail Baltica railway project and won't reduce logging capacities.

Former Viljandi mayor leaves Pro Patria, joins Estonia 200

28.06.18 ... Former Viljandi Mayor Ando Kiviberg has left Pro Patria/Isamaa. Kiviberg was mayor of Viljandi from 2013 to 2017, when he was among the more outspoken critics of the way Estonia's parties handle local politics. He is reportedly joining the Estonia 200 movement.

Opinion digest: Reform couldn't form government with EKRE, says Kross

23.06.18 ... In an opinion piece published by daily Postimees, outgoing Reform MP Eerik-Niiles Kross explained that despite claims implying that every political party in Estonia would be able to reach an agreement with the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) and include them in a coalition government, he doesn't believe his party could if they can't see eye to eye on Europe.

Survey: 15% of voters would consider voting for Estonia 200

15.06.18 ... A total of 25% of voting-age citizens in Estonia consider the coming of new political parties definitely or rather necessary, but up to 15% of voters, a significant portion of which consist of current Free Party voters, would vote for Estonia 200 specifically, according to the results of a recent survey.

Riigikogu holds final sitting of 2018 spring session

14.06.18 ... The Riigikogu held the final sitting of its 2018 spring session on Thursday. It will reconvene in September following summer recess.

Vilja Toomast to replace Kross as MP

14.06.18 ... The Board of the Riigikogu on Thursday approved Vilja Toomast to replace the outgoing Eerik-Niiles Kross as MP beginning 15 June.

June party ratings: Support for EKRE grows most, Reform and Centre tied

14.06.18 ... Support for the opposition Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) grew to 18%, while support for the two most popular parties, the opposition Reform and coalition Centre Party tied up again in June, it appears from the results of the nationwide survey commissioned by ERR's online news portal and conducted by Turu-uuringute AS.

Kross leaving Riigikogu for half year at Harvard

06.06.18 ... MP Eerik-Niiles Kross (Reform) is leaving the Riigikogu to travel to the U.S., where he will spend half a year conducting research at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Marina Kaljurand joins Social Democratic Party

03.06.18 ... Former Minister of Foreign Affairs and 2016 presidential candidate Marina Kaljurand announced on Saturday that she had joined the Social Democratic Party (SDE) and would be running in the 2019 Riigikogu election.

Chair: Centre Party shouldn't oppose online voting

02.06.18 ... The Centre Party should not oppose online voting, but rather focus on the positive, because the world as well as Estonian society are changing, and people's expectations and habits along with them, Prime Minister and Centre Party Chairman Jüri Ratas said.

Party confirms name change to Pro Patria

02.06.18 ... The general meeting of the former Pro Patria and Res Publica Union (IRL) on Saturday formalised the party's name change to Pro Patria.

Indrek Tarand mulling return to Estonian politics, possibly with Free Party

25.05.18 ... Nine years ago Indrek Tarand became an MEP after polling over 100,000 votes as an independent candidate. Now he wishes to return to his roots and join an Estonian party in the run up to the 2019 Parliamentary (Riigikogu) elections. But which one? Everything will become clear in the Autumn, he tells ERR.

Karilaid: Reform alone would gain from change of government this autumn

24.05.18 ... Commenting on rumors that a plan exists to swap the current three-party government coalition for a new one led by the opposition Reform Party and Pro Patria this autumn, Centre Party Deputy Chairman Jaanus Karilaid said that such an unlikely scenario would benefit the Reform Party alone.

Survey: Support for Kaja Kallas, Jüri Ratas as next prime minister tied

21.05.18 ... Support for opposition Reform Party chairwoman Kaja Kallas and incumbent Prime Minister and Centre Party chairman Jüri Ratas as the next potential prime minister has tied.

May party ratings: Support for Reform remains on rise

17.05.18 ... Support for the opposition Reform Party increased from 30 to 32 percent, with senior coalition member Centre Party trailing by over 10 points at 21 percent, according to the results of fresh party ratings commissioned by BNS and Postimees and conducted by Kantar Emor.

Herkel elected Free Party chair

13.05.18 ... Former Free Party chairman Andres Herkel was once again elected chairman of the opposition party with 128 votes at Saturday's general meeting.

Paper: Allocation of electoral spots in Reform likely to cause tension

11.05.18 ... The Reform Party, the largest political party currently in the opposition, has yet to officially release its electoral list ahead of the 2019 Riigikogu election, however there is already friction when it comes to certain electoral districts, daily Eesti Päevaleht (EPL) reports.

Bill introduces option to rescind citizenship based on special merit

10.05.18 ... On May 9 the Reform Party submitted a bill that would allow the state to strip individuals of Estonian citizenship who were naturalized for "achievements of special merit". Member of the European Parliament for Estonia, Yana Toom (Center) is one of these individuals. ERR's Estonian news asked Toom on Thursday if the Reform Party might have her in mind.

IRL forerunner party founder skeptical of new political group

08.05.18 ... Tõnis Kons, one of the founder members of Res Publica, formerly a conservative political party in Estonia which went on to form one half of current coalition incumbents IRL, has expressed skepticism about the emergence of Estonia 200 (Eesti 200) a new conservative player on the Estonian political scene and as such arguably an heir to Res Publica.

Pro Patria and Res Publica Union (IRL) changes party name

06.05.18 ... IRL goes back to the merger of Isamaaliit (Pro Patria) and Res Publica in 2006. Earlier this year the party leadership around chairman Helir-Valdor Seeder, faced with worse and worse ratings that most recently even dropped below the 5-percent threshold, decided that it is time to drop the lengthy name and the three-letter acronym and go for something simpler: Isamaa, or Pro Patria.

Political parties react to new contender in race for 2019 elections

03.05.18 ... Reactions to the manifesto and announcement of a new political movement of the Eesti 200 group from the political parties were mainly positive.

New political group outside mainstream parties publishes manifesto

03.05.18 ... They don't know whether or not they'll eventually form a new party, but they want to challenge the political establishments with a platform based on tackling problems rather than bickering over ideologies: Five personalities from different walks of life have published the Eesti 200 manifesto.

Ansip changes his mind about billion-euro pulp mill close to Tartu

03.05.18 ... The EU's commissioner for the digital single market, Andrus Ansip, who is also a former prime minister of Estonia as well as mayor of Tartu, has changed his opinion regarding the construction of Est-For's large new pulp mill close to his hometown. While he was making fun of protesters not long ago, he now sees "no reason" to consider the Tartu area at all.

New ministers Sikkut, Mäggi sworn in

02.05.18 ... Minister of Health and Labour Riina Sikkut (SDE) and Minister of Public Administration Janek Mäggi (Center) were sworn in on Wednesday after President Kersti Kaljulaid formally appointed them as members of the government.

Sikkut joins Social Democrats as party names her Ossinovski's successor

02.05.18 ... The leadership of the Social Democrats on Wednesday supported Riina Sikkut's candidacy to follow party chairman Jevgeni Ossinovski as minister of health and labor. Sikkut previously worked as a government advisor on social security, health care, and the labor market.

IRL blaming interior minister for police chief's delayed confirmation

01.05.18 ... Director-general of the Police and Border Guard (PPA), Elmar Vaher, couldn't be confirmed in office as planned on Apr. 26 because junior coalition partner IRL intervened, saying that they have questions regarding PPA's spending. The party's deputy in parliament, Priit Sibul, has now blamed the situation on Minister of the Interior Andres Anvelt (SDE).

Designated public administration minister's candidacy just an adventure?

30.04.18 ... Editor-in-chief of ERR's news, Anvar Samost, commented in his radio talk show with Ainar Ruussaar on Sunday that it isn't quite clear to him yet whether the designated next minister of public administration, Janek Mäggi, is out for an 11-month adventure or a longer perspective in politics. In early March 2019, the Estonian voters will elect a new parliament, and with it the composition of the government will likely change as well.

Center's leadership backs Mäggi as next minister of public administration

30.04.18 ... The leadership of the governing Center Party decided on Monday morning to make businessman Janek Mäggi its candidate for minister of public administration. Mäggi would replace Jaak Aab (Center), who announced in April that he is stepping down.

Government infighting continues as IRL derails confirmation of police chief

30.04.18 ... Director-general of the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA), Elmar Vaher, was supposed to get confirmed for another term by the government on Thursday last week, but didn't because junior coalition partner IRL announced that they haven't yet come to a decision in the matter. The result is that Vaher will be acting director-general for at least a day this week as the government is once again trying to resolve its internal differences.

Five contenders in race for Free Party chair

28.04.18 ... Andres Herkel, Tarmo Kaldma, Viktoria Lukats, Jüri Saar and Olev Vaher are all candidates for the next chairperson of the opposition Free Party, to be elected at the party's May 12 general meeting.

Riina Sikkut offered Ossinovski's position as health and labor minister

27.04.18 ... Government Office adviser Riina Sikkut confirmed to ERR on Friday that she has been offered the position of Minister of Health and Labour by outgoing minister Jevgeni Ossinovski (SDE).

Mart Helme re-elected EKRE chairman

23.04.18 ... A congress of the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) on Saturday re-elected incumbent Mart Helme as chairman of the opposition party.

April party ratings: Despite decline, Reform retains strong lead

23.04.18 ... Despite a four-percent drop in its rating, the opposition Reform Party has maintained a nearly ten-percent lead over the senior coalition member Center Party, it appears from the results of a survey commissioned by BNS and Postimees and conducted by Kantar Emor this month.

Social Democrats challenging the status quo now a matter of survival

22.04.18 ... What seemed to be just an option has now become a necessity. Coming up with proposals for real change appears to be the only way for Social-Democratic parties not to disappear in an ever larger undifferentiated political center. Both in Germany and in Estonia, the current phase of transition will determine the fortunes of SPD and SDE in the coming months.

April party ratings: Social Democrats near, IRL below election threshold

19.04.18 ... While Kaja Kallas takes the helm of the opposition Reform Party just as it reaches the highest level of support it has seen in years, support for junior coalition partners the Social Democratic Party (SDE) and the Pro Patria and Res Publica Union (IRL) has dropped to just above and below the five-percent election threshold, respectively. 

Pro Patria and Res Publica Union to change party's name

17.04.18 ... The leadership of the Pro Patria and Res Publica Union (IRL) decided on Monday to propose changing the party's name. The decision is with IRL's extended leadership, who are to meet on May 5, and the party's general meeting, set for June 2.

EKRE to hold party congress in Tallinn on Sunday

16.04.18 ... The Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) is holding its congress at Tallinn's Estonia Concert Hall on Sunday, where the only candidate nominated for party chairperson is incumbent Mart Helme.

Reform Party elects new leadership, secretary-general

15.04.18 ... Beyond confirming single candidate Kaja Kallas as party chairwoman, the Reform Party also elected a new leadership. While plenty of its 16 members stayed on, two prominent candidates were dropped by the delegates.

Kaja Kallas elected Reform Party's first-ever chairwoman

14.04.18 ... At its general meeting on Saturday the Reform Party elected Kaja Kallas chairwoman. Along with Kallas, the 16-member party leadership was elected as well.

Reform Party gearing up for general meeting and internal elections

13.04.18 ... Tomorrow Saturday the opposition Reform Party is holding a general meeting to elect a new leadership as well as its first chairwoman. Some 700 delegates are expected to invest outgoing Estonian MEP Kaja Kallas (Reform/ALDE) as the party's new leader, and to pick 16 out of 27 candidates to lead Reform into the campaign for the 2019 parliamentary elections.

Ossinovski: State budget must be drawn up with real surplus

11.04.18 ... According to Social Democratic Party (SDE) chairman Jevgeni Ossinovski, his party believes that the 2019 state budget should include a real surplus. One of the party's priorities is also wage increases for internal security, police and rescue workers.

Reform in record deficit following 2017 elections

10.04.18 ... The capital of the opposition Reform Party has never run such a large deficit as it did following the 2017 local elections in Estonia, when the net assets of the party ran a deficit of nearly €740,000, it appears from the party's annual report to the Political Parties Financing Surveillance Committee (ERJK).

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