Estonia election changes little

March 5, 2007 at 12:33 PM

TALLINN, Estonia, March 5 (UPI) -- The face of Estonia's Parliament changed very little Monday as vote counting showed incumbent Prime Minister Andrus Ansip retained power.

His center-right Reform Party won 27.8 percent of votes cast, a BBC correspondent reported. As before the election, the left-leaning Center Party polled second with 26.1 percent, and it was expected, but not certain Ansip would enter into a coalition with the Center Party. That would give the coalition 60 of the 101 parliamentary seats.

"The strong support to two big governing parties shows that people are happy with the policies of this government," Ansip said Monday when his victory became apparent.

Election officials said 61 percent of eligible voters turned out Sunday, up from 58 percent in 2003. The country also recorded a world first with about 30,000 voters casting ballots via the Internet, the report said.

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