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Estonia makes history with i-voting majority and record female presence in new parliament

Estonian Parliament elections 2023 have set 4 new milestones: the first mainly online voting in the world, Estonia’s record-high number of voters, personal votes, and female representatives in the new parliament.

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Estonians have voted: Estonia’s Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform Party) to remain in power with 37 seats in parliament secured for the Reform Party and 31,821 personal votes, which is a record number in Estonian history.

In a landslide victory for the Reform Party, it secured 31.6% of the vote, according to an official statement announced last night. Overall, the ballot was considered a successful night for liberal parties, with Reform, Eesti 200, and the Social Democrats increasing their mandates. With 101 seats in the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia), a coalition needs at least 51 for a majority.

The election had an overall turnout of 63.7%, with 615,009 Estonians casting their votes. In absolute numbers, this is the record high for all the elections dating back to 1918. Still, the percentage figure is slightly lower than in previous years due to a new turnout methodology that includes all Estonians living abroad.

Over half of the total turnout, 313,514 voters, including Kallas herself, participated in the online i-voting, setting a new record for the country and worldwide. I-voting started at 9 a.m. on February 27th and ended at 8 p.m. on March 4th. On election night, it took just a few hours to decrypt and count the votes, once again highlighting the quality of the national digital ecosystem. The remaining 301,495 people voted in person with paper ballots.

This surpassed the previous record of 247,232 e-votes set during the 2019 Riigikogu election and the online vote at the 2021 local election, which saw 263,566 people cast a digital ballot. With each consecutive plebiscite, Estonians are adopting digital elections further thanks to a proven track security track record and unmatched convenience powered by the country’s digital government ecosystem.

Another undisputable win for Estonian democracy is a record-high number of female representatives. A total of 30 women were elected to Riigikogu, two more compared to in the previous elections.

Following the election results, Kallas expressed her gratitude towards voters for their trust and confidence in her party’s work over the past two years. “The voter expects the Reform Party to take the lead in the new government. That much is for certain”, Kallas told ETV’s Election’s Night show.

Yesterday (March 5, 2023) ended elections will determine Estonia’s developments in the next four years, allowing Kallas to continue her state leadership and ensuring a secure and attractive business environment for investors to choose Estonia continually.

Wish to compare Estonia’s business environment to that of other EU countries? Try out our brand-new comparison tool.

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