To break the more than month-long political impasse in the Baltic country, Estonia’s president has urged Prime Minister Kaja Kallas to form a new government after she tendered the resignation of her one-party minority Cabinet.
(AP) HELSINKI — Following the departure of her one-party minority Cabinet on Thursday, Estonia’s president requested Prime Minister Kaja Kallas to form a new government, breaking a political impasse that had lasted more than a month in the Baltic country.
Following their discussion, President Alar Karis tweeted, “I signed Prime Minister @kajakallas’ resignation request but also asked her to establish a new government which could start working soon and deal with all critical concerns of Estonian life.”
Early in June, the center-right Reform Party leader Kallas expelled the left-leaning Center Party from the two-party coalition, bringing an end to Estonia’s political crisis. The parties’ positions on spending and welfare measures were very divergent, especially in light of the rising cost of living in Estonia brought on by high inflation.
With an annual inflation rate of 22% in June, Estonia, a member of the European Union and NATO with a population of 1.3 million, has the highest inflation rate among the 19 countries that make up the eurozone. One of the key reasons for inflation in the Baltic country is high energy prices.
The opposition Social Democrats and the tiny, conservative Fatherland (or “Isamaa”) party formed a partnership last week with the politically liberal Reform Party, which supports the conservative budgetary policy.
The 101-seat Riigikogu legislature is comfortably controlled by the three parties, who can manage 56 seats in all. As a result of the coalition agreement, Kallas, who was elected as Estonia’s first female prime minister in January 2021, is spared from having to lead a one-party minority government. Since the 2019 parliamentary elections, Estonia has already had three different governments in a little more than three years.
Before the new administration can be officially constituted by Karis and sworn in this week or early next week, Parliament must first give its assent. In a tweet, Kallas announced that she would petition parliamentarians for permission to appoint her second Cabinet on Friday.
Since there will be a general election in March, the current administration won’t last long.
Siim Kallas, a former Estonian prime minister, and current European commissioner founded the Reform Party, a significant political force in the Baltic nation, in the 1990s. The 45-year-old Kallas is her daughter. She became the Reform Party’s leader in 2018.
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