Estonia coalition nears poll win

Preliminary election results show centre-right alliance poised to remain in power in Baltic state.

    Reform Party leader Ansip has held the premiership since 2005 [Reuters]

    Estonia's centre-right government is poised to win a second term in office following a general election in the Baltic state, according to preliminary results from the country's election commission.

    The ruling two-party coalition led by Andrus Ansip, Estonia's prime minister, won 56 seats in Estonia's 101-member parliament, the preliminary results showed.

    Ansip, who heads the Reform Party, has been in office since a 2005 reshuffle, a year after Estonia joined the European Union.

    Mart Laar, the leader of Ansip's coalition partner, the IRL, told Estonian public broadcaster ETV: "Given the trust from the voters it looks likely that the current coalition will continue."

    Although the coalition has presided over a period of boom and bust and enacted tough austerity measures during the recovery, opinion polls ahead of the vote showed little to indicate voters wished to punish the government over its performance during the global economic crisis.

    The main opposition Center Party won 26 seats and the centrist Social Democrats won 19 seats, according to the preliminary results.

    A total of 62.9 per cent of Estonia's 912,565-strong electorate took part in the vote, up from 61 per cent in the 2007 general election, the figures showed.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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