Jevgeni Ossinovski has put distance between his party and the Center Party, whose leader Edgar Savisaar is a suspect in a corruption scandal, saying that there were never plans for the two parties to attempt to form a coalition.
Ossinovski met Savisaar in the summer on numerous occasions, with the latter saying Ossinovski proposed forming a coalition with two parties - the Free Party and IRL.
“The Social Democrats had no plan in place to create an alternative coalition with new partners,” Ossinovski said, when asked if he felt relieved he did not enter into a pact with Savisaar, in the light of the accusations.
EKRE head Mart Helme said today that his party was also approached in the summer, but the Social Democrats had internal trouble, with Eiki Nestor going against Ossinovski, and the deal fell apart. Helme said the current coalition could still crumble, for example during the 2016 state budget negotiations.
Free Party's Artur Talvik said his party was locked in serious talks in the summer, adding that many questioned whether it was a good idea to enter into a coalition with the Center Party. Talvik said that he reassured his party by saying that it was to be an SDE-led coalition.
Kadri Simson, head of the Center Party's faction in Parliament, said the alternative coalition plan crumbled at the Social Democrat council meeting. She said many older SDE members are very friendly towards the Reform Party, adding that perhaps the reason is that the Reform Party helped to elect Toomas Hendrik Ilves, a former SDE member, as president.
The Reform Party-IRL-SDE coalition suffered turbulent times in the summer, with two of the three parties electing new chairmen. SDE, with Ossinovski in charge since June, was especially vocal on the coalition, saying changes must be made.
Eventually SDE's council decided to stick with the current coalition, prompting one SDE minister to resign. Ossinovski had made a number of amendment proposals to the coalition agreement, of which some were inserted into the treaty.
Editor: J.M. Laats