Estonia wants to prohibit citizens of Russia and Belarus from voting in local elections
The Estonian government is considering temporarily banning citizens of aggressor countries, namely Russia and Belarus, who are residents of Estonia, from voting in local elections. It ws reported by ERR.
The Ministry of Justice of Estonia has prepared a draft law that would temporarily prohibit citizens of aggressor countries from voting in local elections. The minister will soon present the draft to coalition partners and the public.
Currently, foreigners who reside in Estonia with a long-term or permanent residence permit and have reached the age of 16 on the day of the elections are eligible to vote in local elections. The next such elections in Estonia will take place in 2025.
The draft law argues that under the current circumstances, this voting right for Russians in Estonia poses threats to internal peace and national security, as Estonia cannot guarantee that local Russians are "free from the influence of their country of citizenship."
In certain situations, local self-government bodies may even be involved in the election of the president if the parliament fails to do so after three attempts. They may also receive orders from higher authorities that concern matters of national significance.
Additionally, the draft highlights cases where Russians in Estonia have received summons from Russia, requiring them to appear at the Russian military commissariat.
The proposed amendments suggest temporarily prohibiting foreigners - citizens of countries that Estonia or the European Parliament has recognized as aggressors - from participating in local elections.
Estonia has previously declared Russia and Belarus as aggressor states and their satellites.