Estonian Presidential Elections, 1970

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Presidential elections were held in Estonia in 1970, four years after the Military Coup of 1966 that installed a military dictatorship. The elections were held between Alfons Rebane of the KEVP and Tõnis Kint, an ostensibly anti-Junta independent candidate. The 1970 elections were widely regarded as a sham, with Rebane winning 95,76% of the votes, despite the widespread DVL protests in 1966 and 1967. Despite the results of the elections being distrusted by the general public, Kint opted to not protest the result out of fear of more conflict than what had already taken place.

This was the first junta-held election in which an opposition party was allowed to participate. In 1966, Rebane ran as an independent in the Riigikogu indirect elections held in the twilight of the military coup. This was also the first junta-held direct election, a standard all the other junta-held elections would be held.

Electoral stations were set up all over the country and no international observers from any country were allowed to monitor the election. The total vote count was never published, leading to urban legends of audacious forms of electoral fraud. According to a 2013 study by Tartu University, from 680,000 to 702,000 votes were likely actually cast, of which many were thrown out and replaced with pro-Rebane votes. While electoral fraud was noted in Tallinn and Tartu, it was most prolific in the southeast. In Põlvamaa, for example, not a single pro-Kint vote was officially recorded.

Following the elections, Rebane officially thanked the Estonian people for the election results.

In 2006, the Estonian Government officially reversed the results of the 1970 election, along with all other junta-era and Sirk-era elections. This symbolic gesture essentially means that for all legal purposes, Tõnis Kint is officially considered a former president and Alfons Rebane is not.

Official election results by county[edit | edit source]

Estonian Presidential Elections In 1970 By County
County Alfons Rebane Tõnis Kint
Harjumaa 80,42% 19,58%
Raplamaa 97,54% 2,46%
Läänemaa 83,54% 16,46%
Hiiumaa 61,43% 38,57%
Saaremaa 71,32% 28,68%
Viljandimaa 89,52% 10,48%
Pärnumaa 92,31% 7,69%
Valgamaa 99,97% 0,03%
Võrumaa 99,99% 0,01%
Põlvamaa 100,00% 0,00%
Tartumaa 78,13% 21,87%
Jõgevamaa 98,72% 1,28%
Lääne-Virumaa 87,31% 12,69%
Ida-Virumaa 99,91% 0,08%
Järvamaa 88,14% 11,86%
Petserimaa 99,89% 0,10%