How dangerous is Estonia's far right?

According to current polls Estonia's far-right Ekre party could become the third-strongest force in the 2019 parliamentary elections, making it very likely that the party will participate in the next government. For Estonian media this was all the more reason to follow the party's congress closely last weekend.

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Õhtuleht (EE) /

Perfidious populism

The far-right Ekre party pulled out all the populist stops at its congress on the weekend, communication expert Ivo Rull writes in Õhtuleht:

“Create a climate of fear: Without us the country will soon be flooded with black rapists. Oversimplify: It's a choice between being a province of the EU, a province of Russia, or a sovereign state. Make unrealistic promises: We will lower taxes and radically improve medical care. Add a few blatant lies. ... The biggest danger in the upcoming election is that it could bring populists who manipulate the simple-minded to power. The speech by Ekre's chairman has clearly shown what the party's true motto should be: We must secure the votes of the dumb! Black-and-white logic and lies have boosted the party's popularity. Such policies are far simpler than trying to offer complex solutions to real problems.”

Eesti Päevaleht (EE) /

Independent judiciary good for far right too

With its attack against Estonia's judiciary the far-right Ekre party shot an own goal at its congress, Eesti Päevaleht notes:

“The attack against the courts and judges could easily be shrugged off as another targeted confrontation. But such ideas are being nurtured by countries where democracy is already in a precarious state. These ideas are also dangerous for Ekre's voters. An independent judiciary is the main cornerstone of a state governed by the rule of law. As long as the courts are trusted, the people are protected from despotism. And conversely when the courts become marionettes of those in power, the people are left defenceless. ... The independent judiciary also protects the right of Ekre's voters to participate in politics.”