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Estonia: Reform Party PM Kaja Kallas secures solid win

In Estonia, Reform Party of Prime Minister Kaja Kallas overwhelmingly won the Baltic country’s general election.Preliminary returns from a completed ballot count showed the Reform Party, the senior partner in the outgoing three-party coalition government, received 31.2 per cent of the vote – the biggest share in election held on Sunday that focused on national security and the economy. That translates into 37 seats at Estonia’s 101-seat Parliament, or Riigikogu, an increase of three seats from the 2019 election.Addressing her party colleagues and jubilant supporters in the capital, Tallinn, Ms Kallas said, the result gives them a strong mandate to put together a good government. The biggest surprise of the election was the emergence of Eesti 200, a small party, which won 14 seats and 13.3 percent of the vote share.

Ms Kallas, Prime Minister since 2021, faced a challenge from the EKRE party, which seeks to limit the Baltic nation’s exposure to Russia-Ukraine conflict, and blames the current government for Estonia’s high inflation rate. EKRE took second place with 16.1 per cent of votes and 17 seats in the legislature, a decrease of two seats compared to four years ago. The Center Party, which is traditionally favored by Estonia’s sizable ethnic Russian minority, was third with 15.3 per cent of the vote.Kallas told reporters that her party was ready to form a strong coalition government that would keep up calling for pressure on Russia."We... have to invest in our security, our aggressive neighbor has not vanished and will not vanish, so we have to work with that," Kallas said.

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