Estonians headed to the polls

  • 2013-10-02
  • From wire report

High hopes for Center Party chairman Edgar Savisaar

TALLINN - Despite the fact that local municipality elections take place in Estonia in less than three weeks’ time, in most places neither parties nor election unions have managed to make their election programs public, reports Public Broadcasting. However, in the capital city Tallinn, almost all competing parties have made their election program public.
In Tartumaa county, for example, there are just a few places outside the city of Tartu where programs can be viewed.
In the Elections Studio talk show on Sept. 26 on national television, Annika Uudelepp, board chairwoman of Praxis, said that despite the elections being so close, parties haven’t bothered to make their main positions public in places other than Tallinn.

Party representatives said that compiling the programs is still under way and it is up the competing candidates lists if they post their programs on the Internet or not.
Political scientist Rein Toomla said that this doesn’t mean that the programs won’t come. Yet he noted that in most cases election unions won’t compile any programs since these are, in essence, elections of specific persons. “It is enough for the voters to know that this, that and the third person are on the list,” said Toomla.
Toomla added though that many people decide at the last minute whom to vote for and thus, the existence of programs will become important just before Oct. 20.

Almost one in three Estonian voters, and every other voter, in Estonia’s capital Tallinn says they will vote for the Center Party at the upcoming local municipality elections.
A poll, conducted by TNS Emor and commissioned by Public Broadcasting, indicated that across Estonia, the Center Party would collect 31 percent, Social Democratic Party 16 percent , Reform Party 13 percent and Pro Patria and Res Publica Party (PRU) 9 percent of the votes at the local municipality level.

The poll of 1,055 people in September indicates that 29 percent of the voters would vote for a local election union or an independent candidate. The support to parties not represented in the parliament was 1 percent or less.
In Tallinn, 51 percent of the polled would vote for the Center Party. Different from parliamentary elections, where only citizens can cast votes, at local municipality elections also non-citizens can cast votes. Social Democrats were supported by 14 percent, the Reform Party by 13 percent and the PRU by 11 percent of voters. Just 8 percent of the voters would vote for a local election union or an independent candidate.

The most popular candidate for the post of mayor of Tallinn is current mayor, Center Party chairman Edgar Savisaar with 44 percent votes in the city. PRU candidate Eerik-Niiles Kros, who has in recent weeks mounted a major election campaign, gathered the support of 12 percent of voters. The candidate for the Social Democrats Andres Anvelt was supported by 9 percent and Reform Party candidate Valdo Randpere by 7 percent of the voters.
Local municipality elections take place on Oct. 20.