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Center-Right Coalition Retains Power in Estonia


Estonian election commission staff members open a ballot box at a polling station after the parliamentary elections closed in Tallinn, Estonia, on Sunday, March 6, 2011.

Estonian election commission staff members open a ballot box at a polling station after the parliamentary elections closed in Tallinn, Estonia, on Sunday, March 6, 2011.

Estonia's center-right coalition will hold on to power after winning the most seats in Sunday's parliamentary election.

With almost all the votes counted, Prime Minister Andrus Ansip's Reform Party appears headed to win 33 seats, while its partner, the Pro Patria and Res Republica Union, is set to win 23 seats.

That would give their coalition a 56-seat majority - a gain of six seats.

According to the preliminary results, the main opposition Center Party won 26 seats and the Social Democrats won 19 seats. Six other parties failed to win any seats.

Voters rewarded Mr. Ansip's government for pulling Estonia out of a deep recession without turning to the European Union or International Monetary Fund for help.

Estonia, which adopted the euro currency in January, is predicted to have the lowest deficit among euro countries this year.

But despite recent job growth, unemployment remains high.

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