TALLINN - The political movement Estonia 200, which announced on Tuesday it would set up a political party and take part in parliamentary elections in March, has a chance to win seats in the Riigikogu, but the biggest obstacle may be a shortage of well-known candidates and competition between new parties, said Aivar Voog, head of pollster Kantar Emor.
"Results of a survey carried out in May show that a new party with the name Estonia 200 would have a chance to win seats in the parliament," Voog said, referring to a survey commissioned by BNS and the daily Postimees. Support for the initiative Estonia 200 totaled 6 percent in the first half of May.
"But reading recent news, it can be assumed that competition between newcomers will be fierce," Voog said. He referred to former chairman of the Free Party Artur Talvik planning to set up a new party, MEP Indrek Tarand looking for supporters and organizers of the "Maksud Latti" ("Taxes to Latvia") initiative possibly wanting to go into politics.
"If there will be many newcomers, their votes will be divided," Voog said.
According to Voog, a possible obstacle to Estonia 200 succeeding could be a shortage of well-known members. "They need to find two-three well-known people in each electoral district," Voog said, adding that, for example, former chairman of the Pro Patria and Res Publica Union (IRL) Margus Tsahkna "is not expressing new ideas and freshness".
"I wouldn't want to predict whether the Estonia 200 movement would make it to the Riigikogu as a party. It depends on the competition and the active people that join the party. But I'm more likely skeptical about them getting to the parliament," Voog said.