Estonia’s Parliamentary Elections: A Change In Tone Rather Than Practice

NATO ratification, a new Czech President, Montenegrin elections and energy battles continue

2 March 2023

Merili Arjakas, Dorka Takácsy and Albin Sybera

Estonia will head to the polls this weekend, and Hungary’s ratification of the NATO membership of Sweden and Finland is expected to linger well into March.

Parliamentary elections in Estonia on 5 March

Estonia gears up for its quadrennial parliamentary election this Sunday. The election campaign has been rather mild, despite – or perhaps because of – the war in Europe. The Russian imperial mindset is nothing new here and there is a wide consensus for pro-EU, pro-NATO foreign and security policy, focusing on defence and deterrence. The differences between the parties will come down to nuances between policies and rhetoric.

Editor’s Pick: Swedish and Finnish NATO Ratification, Hungarian Discussions Hint at Further Delays   

There is still much uncertainty about the next coalition. Unless there are major surprises between the polling and the results, the different seat shares between the blocs will be dependent on a seat here or two seats there. Minimally, the new government will need 51 seats in the parliament, but the parties would rather have a few more to ensure that the stability of the coalition is not held ransom by a few parliamentary backbenchers. Estonian parties have not always shown great party discipline, so the leaders like to give themselves a leeway of a few seats.

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