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Nationalists Double Support In Estonian Elections

A nationalist-populist wave appears likely in next year’s European elections

Yet another European nation has seen a surge in support for patriotic parties, as the results of Sunday’s Estonian elections showed the nationalist and right-wing populist Conservative People’s Party of Estonia (EKRE) moving into third place and doubling its support since the last election, according to a report by US News.

EKRE received 17.8% of votes, over twice as much as the 8.1% it took in the country’s 2015 elections. This gave the party 19 seats in the 101 seat legislature. The winner of the election was the ruling center-right Reform Party, which won 28.9% of the vote, beating the opposition center-left Centre Party, which took second place at 23.1%. Despite their slightly different economic approaches, both of these establishment parties remain vehemently supportive of closer federal integration with the globalist European Union project. EKRE, on the other hand, stands for national sovereignty, halting third world immigration, and higher defense spending, in order to reduce Estonia’s dependence on the NATO alliance.

However, both major parties rejected forming a coalition with EKRE prior to the election, leaving them to negotiate with one another and with two smaller parties, the left-wing Social Democratic Party and the conservative Fatherland party, in order to cobble together enough seats to form a coalition. Reform Party leader Kaja Kallas was scathing in her condemnation of the rising EKRE movement.

“If you add the downright populist economic and financial policy as well as leaving the European Union, it is clear that EKRE’s aim is to destroy Estonia and weaken our ties to our allies in the West,” she said. “They are deliberately betraying the voters by scaring them and making false promises. The Reform Party can’t accept this sort of behavior. EKRE itself has done everything in its power to leave the other parties no choice but to exclude any cooperation with them in leading Estonia.”

The leader of EKRE, Mart Helme, has been a vocal supporter of President Donald Trump, describing the 2016 election as “the white man’s revolt against corruption, immigration, gender-neutral toilets and schools, and against the globalist elite”.

“Today America to rest of the world is the shining city upon a hill again, like Reagan loved to say in his days. To Estonia, Trump is a better ally in the White House than Kremlin-financed ‘Hill and Bill’ would have been,” he wrote in 2016.

These results reflect a growing trend towards support for nationalist candidates across Europe, including in Italy, Spain, Sweden, France, and Latvia. This bodes well for those hoping a powerful bloc of pro-sovereignty patriots can be formed in the European Parliament after next year’s European elections.

Written by Dan Weissman

Dan Weissman is the Managing Editor of The Schpiel.

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