Kadri Simson, the acting head of the Center Party, the leading opposition force in the recently elected Estonian Parliament, told ERR that the coalition agreement is a win for the Reform Party and she fails to see any gains for the Social Democrats.
“I have an impression that the Reform Party has most to gain from the new coalition. They are the ones who did not search for alternatives and want to retain the status quo. Despite the fact that the coalition agreement is extensive, it is very vague and fails to specify the timeline for reforms. Led by the Reform Party, everything remains the same in wider context,” Simson said.
The Reform Party's dominance is also reflected in the cabinet posts, according to Simson. “They got all they wanted, apart from Jürgen Ligi, who wanted to return to his position as the finance minister. So it is beyond me to understand, looking at the ministerial positions and the program, why would the Social Democrats join a coalition, basically carrying out the Reform Party policies.”
Simson reminded that it is the third attempt for the three-party alliance to form a stable government – similar coalitions entered the government in 1999 and 2007, led by former prime ministers Mart Laar and Andrus Ansip, respectively. Each time the coalition dissolved eventually, not lasting until election.
“Looking at how much discomfort there was between the partners, how dissatisfied they were with the current coalition agreement, and how they have failed the expectations of the electorate – because there is no real change in the cards – then I wouldn't think they last four years in the government,” Simson said.
Simson brought out a single positive aspect from the coalition agreement – the aim to stand for and promote a strong middle-class in Estonia. “This is something that the Center Party has always stood for – but I doubt that the coalition partners will manage to keep this nice promise without our input."
Editor: S. Tambur