Prime Minister Kallas, champion of Ukraine cause, wins Estonian elections

According to preliminary results, the centre-right Reform Party of current Prime Minister Kaja Kallas won the Estonian parliamentary elections. Kallas’ party, which received almost all the votes, received 31.4 percent of the votes. The right-wing populist party EKRE received 16.1 percent of the vote, followed by the left-wing Center Party with 15 percent.

Kallas, 45, became the first woman to take office as Prime Minister of Estonia since early 2021. She is pro-European and considered one of the most outspoken supporters of support for Ukraine. This stance seems to have won him and his party extra votes in the elections in the former Soviet republic, which shares its eastern border with Russia.

“While this result is not final, it gives us a strong mandate to form the government,” Kallas said on election night for his party. “With this strong mandate, I don’t think our support for Ukraine will change because other parties – except EKRE and maybe Centrum – are on the same side.”

Weapons for Ukraine

These results give the Reform Party 37 seats in the 101-seat Estonian parliament. Although this is a strong position, Kallas should therefore seek a coalition with other parties. In any case, due to the strong ideological differences between this party and the Reform Party, it does not want to be in power with EKRE for now.

Kalla’s main rival, EKRE’s Martin Helme, blamed him for high inflation (18.6 percent) in Estonia during the election campaign. He also believes he is undermining Estonia militarily by supplying Ukraine with weapons, and wants Estonia to restrict accepting Ukrainian refugees.

“Actually, we have given all our heavy weapons to Ukraine and the refills will not come for about two or three years. You are actually inviting an attack,” Helme previously told the AP news agency. During the campaign, Kallas emphasized the importance of Estonia to Ukraine’s military success. Our aggressor neighbor has not disappeared and will not disappear,” he warned.

Source: NOS