The Social Democrat council voted on Sunday to continue with the Reform Party and IRL in the current government coalition, with Entrepreneurship Minister Urve Palo resigning in protest.
Total of 35 delegates supported the current coalition, with 25 against. New Chairman Jevgeni Ossinvski, who has been a critic of the coalition, said his proposals to change the coalition agreement, some of which were accepted by IRL and the Reform Party, makes the agreement much better for Estonia.
He said the party managed to battle a pay rise for teachers, which will see salaries rise to 120 percent of the national average. Ossinovski said another victory is the promise of the state increasing support for Estonian farmers in crisis situation.
“Thanks to the Social Democrats the coalition agreement, from today, is a document which is alive and one can change and update it at will,” SDE MEP Marju Lauristin said.
Palo gave in her notice shortly before the results of the secret ballot were made public. “The world around us is moving at ever increasing speed and the Reform Party policy of stagnation have left us limping in international competition,” Palo said, adding that SDE must seek other possibilities for realizing its ideas.
Palo was the only elected female minister, as Foreign Minister Marina Kaljurand was brought in from outside of politics after the elections. Ossinovski himself is likely to take over the post. Party leadership will debate the topic of Palo's replacement this week.
Editor: J.M. Laats