2019 Riigikogu Election

Party ratings: Support for Centre hits record low

13.05.19 ... Support for the Centre Party fell to 15 percent this month, the lowest rating the senior coalition party has seen in at least 12 years.

Justice chancellor agrees Kallo should be stripped of immunity

03.05.19 ... Chancellor of Justice Ülle Madise on Friday signed a decision with which she agreed with an application from the Prosecutor's Office which sought to strip Centre Party MP Kalev Kallo,whose court case in connection with bribery has been pending for years, of his parliamentary immunity.

President Kaljulaid 'emotionally upset as a woman,' says Helme

02.05.19 ... Speaking at the first press conference of Prime Minister Jüri Ratas' second government on Thursday, Minister of the Interior and Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) chairman Mart Helme said that during the new ministers' swearing-in on Monday, President Kersti Kaljulaid acted like a woman incapable of keeping her emotions in check.

Gallery: New government convenes at Stenbock House for first meeting

02.05.19 ... The second government of Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre), which was sworn in before the Riigikogu on Monday, convened for its first meeting at Stenbock House on Thursday morning.

Kuusik resigns from minister role in wake of domestic violence allegations

01.05.19 ... Marti Kuusik (EKRE) has stepped down from his post as a minister in Jüri Ratas' incoming coalition, in the wake of allegations of domestic violence, BNS reports.

Police investigating IT minister abuse claims, ex-wife says innocent

30.04.19 ... The Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) have commenced a criminal investigation into allegations of domestic violence made against incoming IT and foreign trade minister Marti Kuusik (EKRE), ERR's online Estonian news reports.

Ratas' second government sworn in Monday afternoon

29.04.19 ... On Monday, April 29, the new Estonian government, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas' (Centre) second, is to be sworn in before the Riigikogu.

Cutting red tape to continue, promises incoming minister

26.04.19 ... Incoming Minister of Regional Affairs Jaak Aab (Centre) has pledged to cut the number of government officials, particularly in regional government, and centralise support services.

Johannes Merilai to take over as head of prime minister's office

26.04.19 ... Johannes Merilai is taking over as head of the Prime Minister's Office, replacing Tanel Kiik.

Taavi Rõivas: Fear keeping Isamaa in government

26.04.19 ... In an interview with Raadio 2 on Thursday, former Prime Minister and Reform Party candidate for MEP Taavi Rõivas said that while the Centre Party's motive for being in the new tripartite coalition is the position of prime minister and the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) simply has no other mathematical means of being in the government, then in Isamaa's case it is fear of losing voters that is keeping it in the new government.

Incoming ministers to be replaced by nine alternates in Riigikogu

25.04.19 ... A total of nine alternate members will be sworn in as MPs on Monday to replace the new ministers of Jüri Ratas' (Centre) second government.

President Kaljulaid to appoint new government Wednesday afternoon

24.04.19 ... President Kersti Kaljulaid will on Wednesday afternoon appoint the new Estonian government to office.

Party ratings: Despite opposition status, Reform remains most popular party

24.04.19 ... The Reform Party, which won the 2019 Riigikogu election on 3 March but was ultimately left out of the incoming government coalition, remains a strong leader in terms of popularity, commanding the support of 33% of voters in Estonia, it appears from the results of a survey commissioned by the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues and conducted by Norstat.

Party finance watchdog to investigate Isamaa advertising

24.04.19 ... The Supervisory Committee on Party Financing (ERJK) is to analyse Isamaa's election campaign expenses after receiving tips that declared expenses and measured advertising volumes do not add up.

Poll: Jüri Luik considered most suitable for ministerial position

24.04.19 ... Of all the ministerial candidates for Prime Minister Jüri Ratas' (Centre) second government, Estonan residents consider Jüri Luik (Isamaa), Tõnis Lukas (Isamaa) and Mailis Reps (Centre) the most suitable candidates for their respective ministerial positions, while Martin Helme (EKRE) and Mart Helme (EKRE), were found to be the least fitting to become ministers, it appears from the results of a survey conducted by Kantar Emor.

Incoming IT minister caught driving both speeding and with trace alcohol

23.04.19 ... 4 March, the morning after the 2019 Riigikogu election, Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) politician and now candidate for Minister of Foreign Trade and Information Technology Marti Kuusik was apprehended by the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) in the town of Rakvere, east of Tallinn, for speeding, BNS reports. Mr Kuusik was at the same time found to have traces of alcohol in his system, as already reported by ERR News.

One-on-one meetings between Kaljulaid, ministerial candidates continue

23.04.19 ... President Kersti Kaljulaid on Tuesday continued to meet one-on-one in turn with candidates for minister in Prime Minister Jüri Ratas' (Centre) second government. The Estonian head of state first met with candidate for Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa), then candidate for Minister of the Interior Mart Helme (EKRE) at Kadriorg on Tuesday morning.

Gallery: President starts meeting with incoming ministers

22.04.19 ... Incumbent Prime Minister and Centre Party chairman Jüri Ratas has formally submitted his list of ministerial candidates to President Kersti Kaljulaid.

Riigikogu marks centenary with exhibition, commemorative stamp and more

22.04.19 ... The Riigikogu is marking its 100th anniversary in the week commencing 22 April, with, amongst other events, an exhibition, a special sitting, and the minting of a commemorative stamp.

Jüri Ratas to Riigikogu: We will prove we stand for everyone's well-being

18.04.19 ... The prime minister is prime minister for all people of Estonia, not just those who have supported or elected them. The government must likewise work in the name of the best possible future for all of our people. For me there is not, nor will there be, our Estonia and your Estonia. There is only one — our Estonia, said candidate for prime minister Jüri Ratas (Centre) in a speech delivered to the Riigikogu on Wednesday afternoon.

April party ratings: EKRE loses most support

18.04.19 ... Support for the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) fell the most, while support for the Reform Party and Estonia 200 grew the most in April, according to the results of a survey commissioned by ERR and conducted by Turu-uuringute AS. The three coalition parties have the combined support of 49% of voters, while the opposition is supported by 38%.

Riigikogu backs Centre-EKRE-Isamaa coalition, Ratas to remain PM

17.04.19 ... The Riigikogu voted 55 to 44 in favour of giving Centre Party chairman Jüri Ratas the authority to form Estonia's next government. The new coalition, with Centre's 25, EKRE's 19 and Isamaa's 12 votes, has 56 of the Riigikogu's total 101 mandates.

Bank of Estonia: Money laundering scandals may drive up cost of loans

17.04.19 ... The reputational damage resulting from suspected money laundering in Nordic banking groups may impair banks' financing conditions, thereby rendering loans more expensive and less accessible for Estonian people and businesses, the Bank of Estonia warned.

Jõks: Does the president have the right to judge candidates for minister?

17.04.19 ... In a parliamentary state, the president is not involved in the formation of a government, which is why they generally lack the right to reject a candidate for minister in connection with, for example, political convictions, writes attorney and former Chancellor of Justice Allar Jõks.

Poll: Centre-EKRE-Isamaa coalition ahead of Reform-SDE alternative

17.04.19 ... A poll published by daily Postimees on Wednesday has Centre-EKRE-Isamaa at 47.9% support and the Reform-SDE proposal voted down on Monday at 42.2%. Meanwhile the Reform Party remains the most popular single party, well ahead of Centre and the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE).

Official: President Kaljulaid tasks Ratas with forming government

16.04.19 ... President Kersti Kaljulaid, who is currently on a state visit to Portugal, digitally signed an order early on Tuesday evening tasking Centre Party chairman and acting Prime Minister Jüri Ratas with forming a government.

Ratas attempt at forming government may come as soon as Thursday

16.04.19 ... According to officially unconfirmed information, Centre Party chairman Jüri Ratas is to address the Riigikogu at 10:00 EEST on Thursday regarding his grounds for forming a government, provided that President Kersti Kaljulaid, who is currently on a visit to Portugal, digitally signs the document granting him the authority to form a government by Wednesday.

Centre deputy chair: Kaja Kallas speech negative, lacked new ideas

16.04.19 ... The speech of Reform Party chairwoman Kaja Kallas had been that of an opposition leader rather than that of a candidate for prime minister, and while it contained plenty of criticism, Ms Kallas lacks ideas how to move Estonia forward, minister of education and Centre deputy chair, Mailis Reps, said.

Kaja Kallas: We are to be led into backslide under stagnation government

16.04.19 ... Estonian society isn't ready. We still have a lot left to do. But we are now going to be led by a government of stagnation. So it has been said in recent weeks by all experts speaking out, from entrepreneurship and education to the social sphere and civil society. We have a standstill ahead of us. What's more, on very many issues we have a backslide ahead of us, said candidate for prime minister Kaja Kallas in a speech to the Riigikogu on Monday.

Hänni: Riigikogu to have last word on formation of government

16.04.19 ... Liia Hänni, one of the authors of the Estonian Constitution, explained that if President Kersti Kaljulaid does not task a candidate for prime minister who enjoys a majority of support in the Riigikogu with the formation of a new government, the Riigikogu can override the president's decision and form a government on its own. Nonetheless, she believed that the president and the candidate for prime minister would reach an understanding.

Gallery: Kõigi Eesti Laul concert brings 10,000 to Song Festival Grounds

15.04.19 ... The Kõigi Eesti initiative, which got its start on social media encouraging a more tolerant Estonia shared by everyone, organised a concert at the Tallinn Song Festival Grounds on Sunday in support of its message, and more than 10,000 people turned up to support it as well.

Kaja Kallas not granted authority to form government

15.04.19 ... Reform Party chairwoman Kaja Kallas did not receive enough votes of support from the Riigikogu on Monday to be granted the authority to form a government. 45 MPs voted in favour of granting Ms Kallas the authority, while 53 voted against. There were two abstentions.

Raimond Kaljulaid supports granting Kallas authority to form government

15.04.19 ... MP Raimond Kaljulaid, who recently quit the Centre Party in protest of its inclusion of the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) in coalition negotiations, will vote in favour of granting Kaja Kallas, chairwoman of the 3 March Riigikogu election-winning Reform Party, authority to form the government.

Toomas Sildam: New government won't be easy for Ratas either

15.04.19 ... While Kaja Kallas, chairwoman of the Riigikogu election-winning Reform Party, won't receive the support of the Riigikogu for the formation of a government on 15 April, it won't be easy for continuing Prime Minister Jüri Ratas either, who is on shaky ground with several of the candidates for minister in his new government and has the president staring him down no less, writes journalist Toomas Sildam.

Riigikogu to vote on Reform-SDE coalition proposal on Monday

15.04.19 ... The Riigikogu will convene for a plenary sitting at 15:00 EEST on Monday. The most important point on the agenda is the vote on the proposed coalition of the Reform Party and the Social Democratic Party (SDE). Reform chairwoman Kaja Kallas said last week that she isn't counting on votes out of the Centre Party.

The XIV Riigikogu: Why those seated were not always those elected

15.04.19 ... On 3 March, Estonian citizens elected 101 new members to the XIV Riigikogu in the 2019 general election, 13 of whom received a personal mandate. Just over a month later, on 4 April, only 92 of those elected were present to give their oath of office as MPs on the day of the first sitting. Where were the rest? And who had taken their seats?

Reform, Social Democrats reach agreement on coalition principles

13.04.19 ... The Reform Party and the Social Democratic Party (SDE) published the principles for their own proposed coalition on Saturday, outlining their own policies should the Riigikogu confirm Kaja Kallas as prime minister on Monday. Meanwhile Ms Kallas has already said that she isn't counting on the support of any of the Centre Party's MPs.

Gallery: President Kaljulaid meets parliamentary group leaders

12.04.19 ... President Kersti Kaljulaid hosted parliamentary group leaders from all five elected parties at Kadriorg Palace on Friday, replete with coffee and chocolates.

Potential future minister deletes controversial social media post

12.04.19 ... Mart Järvik a member of the coalition Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) and potential future Minister of Rural Affairs, deleted a post from his Facebook wall that included a photo of several Estonian leaders with the text "Mummies' time is over, daddies are home," as he said that a minister set to take office cannot allow themselves to post "borderline posts."

Max Kaur elected mayor of Jõhvi Municipality

12.04.19 ... Jõhvi Municipal Council on Thursday elected Max Kaur (Centre) the new mayor of Jõhvi Municipality. Since last summer, Mr Kaur had been serving as deputy municipal mayor.

New coalition agreement puts Saaremaa bridge back on agenda

12.04.19 ... Some of what has been included in the new coalition agreement involves a long-proposed bridge connecting Saaremaa to the Estonian mainland. Namely, the new coalition intends to launch a national designated spatial plan in order to investigate opportunities for the construction of the bridge. While this is not a guarantee that it will be built, at least one entrepreneur hopes the bridge could be built and opened to traffic by 2026.

President to discuss domestic politics with parliamentary group leaders

11.04.19 ... The leaders of the parliamentary groups of Estonia's political parties will meet with President Kersti Kaljulaid in Kadriorg on Friday to discuss the state of Estonia's domestic politics.

Party quarterly income figures show donations don't always convert to seats

11.04.19 ... More quarterly figures for party receipts and expenditures have been reported by BNS, revealing that the Centre Party had a slightly higher income than the Reform Party, and significantly higher than its coalition agreement partner, the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE).

EKRE spends €500,000 on advertising, party member buys third radio station

11.04.19 ... The Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) spent more than €600,000 in the first quarter of 2019 and reported a total income of €200,000. While the party spent roughly half a million euros on its political advertising leading up to the 3 March general election, one of its recently elected MPs has bought his third radio station.

Reform Party spends in excess of €1.2 million on campaign ads, ad space

11.04.19 ... The Reform Party spent a total of €1,812,118 in the first quarter of 2019, of which €1,244,532 were spent on advertising, ERR's Estonian online news reported on Thursday morning.

Ratas: No money to fulfil coalition agreement this year

11.04.19 ... In an interview with weekly Maaleht, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre) said that there is no money this year for his new coalition to fund any big initiatives.

Helme: Trump, Salvini aligned rhetoric with politics, EKRE planning same

10.04.19 ... The Estonian Broadcasting Council (RHN), the supervisory board of Estonian Public Broadcasting (ERR), discussed a demand of the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) on Tuesday calling for the "punishment" of certain journalists for allegedly being biased in their work. In an interview with ERR, Mart Helme explained the party's attitude to the media.

Veidemann: No reason for ERR to consider any changes

10.04.19 ... The Estonian Broadcasting Council (RHN) on Tuesday discussed an appeal submitted by Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) deputy chairman and MP Martin Helme in which he demanded that Estonian Public Broadcasting (ERR) journalists who had "demonstrated bias" be "removed from the air." Following the council's meeting, however, RHN chairman Rein Veidemann said that there is no reason for ERR to make any changes.

Ilves: We cannot turn into yet another failed Eastern European state

10.04.19 ... According to former President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, he is deeply concerned by the demands and rhetoric currently setting the tone in Estonian politics.

Economy should be a smart one, not based on slave labour, says EKRE leader

09.04.19 ... Mart Helme, Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) chair and candidate for interior minister in his party's coalition with Centre and Isamaa, has said that he found unconvincing the claim that business owners cannot find sufficient labour within Estonia, and that this should therefore be brought from outside.
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