Balances of political powers in Estonia

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24. January 1934

The balance of political powers in the state was demonstrated by the elections of local governments at the beginning of 1934, at which the Settlers' Party and Farmers' Councils were victorious. The participants in the Estonian War of Independence (on the photo) received a total of 10.7% of the votes, but in towns, they were supported by almost 60% of voters.

From here on, main emphasis was turning on the elections of the State Elder, which were appointed for 22-23 April. At first, the EVL has set up its candidate to be General Andres Larka, chairman of the central board of the union, but at the beginning, the nomination of General Johan Laidoner was also considered. Laidoner was nominated as a candidate by the Settlers' Party, but the General could count in the supporters of the Central Party as well.

The third candidate for the State Elder was Konstantin Päts, nominated by the Farmers' Councils, and the fourth candidate was August Rei, chairman of the Central Committee of the Estonian Socialist Labour Party. To start off one of the fiercest election campaigns throughout time, the anniversaries of three main candidates were grandly celebrated in a row: on 12 February, Laidoner became 50, on 23 February, Päts became 60 and on 5 March, Larka became 55.

Own candidates were glorified and rivals disparaged: in case of Larka, his role in the War of Independence was questioned; Päts and Laidoner were accused of economic intrigues, especially with regard to the bankruptcy of the former Bank of Harju. Participants in the War of Independence were particularly furious, launching the largest slander campaign against Laidoner. All candidates had to collect up to 10,000 supporting signatures prior to the elections, and the EVL swelled it into kind of an advance poll. Larka collected more than 62,000, Laidoner more than 38,000, Päts more than 18,500 and Rei a little below 5,000 signatures. The political situation in Estonia remained very tense.

Eesti ajalugu. VI, Vabadussõjast taasiseseisvumiseni. Tartu: Ilmamaa, 2005
Õie Elango, Ants Ruusmann ja Karl Siilivask. Eesti maast ja rahvast: Maailmasõjast maailmasõjani. Tallinn: Olion, 1998
Eesti ajalugu: kronoloogia. Tallinn: Olion, 2007

http://www.hot.ee/lvppaint/vaps_0.jpg


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