Estonia elected its first female prime minister as a result of national elections held on Sunday, March 3. Kaja Kallas, leader of the center-right classic liberal Reform Party and former member of European Parliament, will become the Baltic country’s head of government as a result of her party gaining more than 28% of the popular vote. The center to center-left social liberal Centre Party, led by former Prime Minister Jüri Ratas, came in 2nd place with about 23% of the popular vote. The right-wing to far-right populist Conservative People’s Party got more than 17% of the popular vote in 3rd place, compared to about 8% of the popular vote it received in the last election back in 2015.
Kallas and members of the Reform Party have said that they will negotiate with other parties such as the Center Party and the Social Democrats to form a government in parliament. Kallas will also join a long list of female leaders throughout the Baltics including former Latvian President Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga, former Latvian Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma, former Lithuanian Prime Minister Kazimira Prunskienė, Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė, and Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid.
Once part of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union, Estonia has become one of the world’s most digitalized countries with a majority of public services are provided 24/7 online through advances in blockchain technology and major investments in cyber-infrastructure. The Baltic state, which also a member of NATO, is a major ally to the U.S. and the rest of the developed world due to its proximity to Russia.
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