• Mikhail Zakharov

The Boom of the Far-Right in Estonia: What to Expect in Parliamentary Elections

Image Source: https://upnorth.eu/estonian-election-guide/

Estonia is preparing for two election campaigns in the near future. Parliamentary elections will take place on 3 March, 2019, and in May the Estonian electorate will choose its representatives for the European Parliament. The results of the parliamentary elections will undoubtedly affect the results of the vote for MEPs in May. But what are the main threats for the existing Estonian political order and can we take its survival for granted?

The parties, whose candidates will compete for 101 seats in the Riigikogu, will need to overcome the 5% barrier. In general, today there is a high degree of political pluralism in Estonia. Five or six parties, like the Estonian Reform Party or the Estonian Centre Party, mostly old residents of the political establishment, are still expected to be well represented in Parliament. But the pan-European rise of the populist far-right has also been observed in this Baltic state in the form of the Conservative People’s Party of Estonia (EKRE). The EKRE is ready to take the fight to the established political parties. These aren’t empty words: about one-fifth of the electorate has voiced support for the p