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Government wins election with clear majority

Estonia's centre-right coalition government won out Sunday in the Baltic state's general election after winning a clear majority in parliament with a total of 56 seats, according to results from the national electoral commission.


AFP - Estonia's centre-right coalition government on Sunday won a new majority in the Baltic state's general election, results from the national electoral commission showed.

Prime Minister Andrus Ansip's two-party coalition won a combined 56 seats in Estonia's 101-member parliament, while two centre-left opposition parties together took 45 seats, the figures showed.

The coalition, in power since 2007, lost its majority two years later during a revolt over budget cuts, dropping from 58 seats to 49.

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

Opinion polls found little appetite among voters to punish Asnip's coalition for a biting austerity drive launched as the global economic crisis struck the nation of 1.3 million.

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

In 2007, he was the first Estonian premier to be returned to office in a general election since the republic won freedom in 1991 after five decades of Soviet control.

Estonia shifted rapidly to a free market after independence, earning a reputation as an economic tiger.

Ansip was at the helm as it swung from boom to slump and then to recovery.

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