Estonian PM's center-right party beats far right in national election
Estonian PM's pro-Kiev party won 31.6% of the vote, reiterating consistent military aid to Ukraine.
Prime Minister Kaja Kallas' center-right Reform Party won Estonia's general election by a wide margin on Sunday, according to near-complete results, beating out a far-right rival that had campaigned against further arms deliveries to Ukraine.
Reform won 31.6% of the vote, with right-wing runners-up EKRE taking 16%. In order to stay in power, Reform will again have to form a coalition with one or more of the parties in the Baltic state's 101-seat parliament.
The Centre Party secured 14.7% of Sunday's ballot, Estonia 200 got 13.5%, the Social Democrats received 9.4%, and the Isamaa (Fatherland) party 8.3%.
"This is much better than we expected," Kallas said of the result. "We have ruled out a coalition with EKRE and I stand by my words."
EKRE leader Martin Helme suggested on election night that Reform "stole" the election.
"We didn't do anything wrong. We did everything right and with honesty, unlike those who stole our well-deserved victory," Helme said.
Reform is a center-right liberal party that appeals to business owners and young professionals. It has promised to raise military spending to at least 3% of GDP and ease taxes on business.
EKRE, meanwhile, had campaigned against additional military aid to Kiev, and called for a halt in Ukrainian refugee arrivals and for lower immigration rates to protect local workers.
The electoral commission must still verify the results, but if confirmed, Reform will win 37 seats -- three more than they did four years ago.
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Estonia, a country of 1.3 million people bordering Russia, is a member of the EU and NATO and has led international calls over the past year for more military aid to help Ukraine.
Its military assistance to Ukraine amounts to more than 1% of GDP -- the biggest contribution of any country relative to the size of its economy.
Speaking of aid to Ukraine, Kallas said on Sunday, "I think with such a strong mandate this will not change."
"Other parties -- except EKRE and maybe Centre -- have chosen the same line. So I think we can find common ground here," she added.
According to EKRE's Helme, Estonia should not be "further escalating tensions" with Russia.
Estonia has also been grappling with a cost-of-living crisis, enduring one of the EU's highest inflation rates -- 18.6% in January over 12 months earlier.
According to political analysts, a coalition between Reform, Estonia 200, and the Social Democrats is possible, as is one between Reform, Centre, and Isamaa.
Overall voter turnout was 63.5%, according to the electoral commission.
Read more: Estonian PM asserts that defending Kiev means defending Talinn