Estonia: Minister proposes vote ban on Russian, Belarusian citizens

Estonia’s Minister of Justice, Kalle Laanet (Reform), has proposed that citizens of “aggressor states” be deprived of the right to vote in local elections in Estonia, ERR reports. The ban would apply to nearly 69,000 Russian and Belarusian citizens who are permanent residents in Estonia. The voter turnout in Estonia’s previous municipal elections in October 2021 stood at 42.5% among Russian citizens and 49.5% among Belarusian citizens. Just over 30,000 Russian and Belarusian citizens voted in the local elections. The Ministry of Justice has prepared a cabinet meeting memorandum that includes a legal analysis of the proposed vote ban. Interior Minister Lauri Läänemets (SDE) argued that banning Russian and Belarusian citizens from voting could not be done without amending the constitution, however.