Estonian populist lawmaker elected parliament speaker

An Estonian lawmaker from a populist party that aims at joining a governing coalition has been elected as parliament speaker of the Baltic country's legislature

Henn Polluaas of the Estonian Conservative People's Party, or EKRE, known for its anti-immigration and euroskeptic stance, was elected Thursday in the 101-seat Riigikogu assembly.

EKRE, which captured 17.8% of the vote to become the country's third largest party, is in talks with the left-leaning Center Party and conservative Fatherland to form a three-way government.

If that succeeds, it would be the first time in recent Estonian history that populists have joined a government.

Without naming EKRE, President Kersti Kaljulaid said the nation has "a crisis of values" and many feel "something is broken in our society."