TALLINN : Test for Reformers

Voters in Estonia, hailed as the purest laboratory of free-market reform in the former Soviet Union, will elect a new Parliament on Sunday. Despite their progress, reform candidates are expected to fare badly.

While the economy of this small Baltic nation has grown sharply since the 1991 break from the Soviet Union, many people, especially farmers and pensioners, have been left behind. Former Communists, plant directors and farm leaders running against the reformers are expected to get their votes.

Estonia's government has been dominated since 1992 by men in their 20s and 30s who have slashed virtually all subsidies and trade barriers and kept social spending to a minimum.

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