People’s Union of Estonia
Published 17th February, 2011
The People’s Union of Estonia (ERL) was founded on 29th September 1994 with the original name of the Estonian Country People’s Party (EME). The party took its new name on 18th October 1999 and in 2000 it merged with the Estonian Country Union (EML) and the Estonian Party of Pensioners and Families (EPPE). In 2003 the enlarged party then merged with the New Estonia party.
In partnership with the Coalition Party (defunct) it took 41 seats in the 1995 general election and was the largest grouping in the parliament. It was in government until the 1999 general election but the Coalition only won seven seats.
In 2003 the party won 13 seats and was a coalition member of government with the Estonian Reform Party and Union for the Republic – Res Publica until 2005. Then until the 2007 election they were in government with the Estonian Reform Party and Estonian Centre Party.
In 2007 the party dropped back to six seats and into opposition. In 2010 they entered into talks with the Social Democratic Party and then the Centre Party, but neither mergers came off leading to some defections. They are now left with one MP.
The party describes itself as an agrarian party with populist, social democratic influences.
The ERL is a member of the Alliance for Europe of the Nations.