Papers: Time to replace current coalition (2)

The current coalition's ministers after their oath of office, 2014. (PM/Scanpix)
11/8/2016 9:26 AM
Category: News

Estonia’s major papers wrote in their editorials on Tuesday that the time had come to replace the current Reform Party-led government with a new coalition. Though Ratas' Center Party may not be ready to rule just yet, prime minister Taavi Rõivas needed to be replaced in any case, and doing so would be good for the Reform Party as well.

Daily Eesti Päevaleht wrote in its Tuesday editorial that though at this point any kind of change was a good thing, the Reform Party not being part of the next government would be even better. After 17 years of leading the political development of Estonia, the Reform Party would profit from such a “shock opposition”, the paper wrote.

Leaving the government would help the Reform Party overcome its addiction to power and give it new drive and energy, the paper wrote.

The most important thing now was that the new coalition wasn’t set up too quickly, and with a more sensible objective than just to settle old scores. Whoever was going to be part of it, the new government needed to include substantial development as well, not just bring new personnel.

“If the new coalition undoes all the current reforms and doesn’t offer something new, and something better, it will turn into a stagnation government as well,” Päevaleht warned.

Estonia’s largest-circulation newspaper, Postimees, wrote in its editorial that the coming change was a good thing, and that replacing the “inadequate” prime minister could only be good in terms of the country’s upcoming presidency of the Council of the European Union as well.

On the other hand, though breaking the current standstill was certainly positive, there was no guarantee that the next prime minister would do any better.

“Right now Ratas’ only virtue is that he is neither Taavi Rõivas nor Edgar Savisaar, thanks to whom the Reform Party has been able to remain in power all these years, as it now turns out. In principle we know less about the views of Jüri Ratas and the Center Party under its new leader than we knew about Kersti Kaljulaid when she was about to become president,” Postimees wrote.

The paper also pointed out that to really be able to talk about a renewed Center Party, what was necessary were actions and clear positions the kind of which were not to be seen anywhere at this point. Postimees wrote that there were no more clear statements to be expected from Ratas than from Rõivas, and that seen from this point of view, the Center Party wasn’t yet ready to be in government.

Õhtuleht wrote that getting to lead the next coalition at any price certainly had to be very tempting for the Center Party after so many years of waiting. The party had only few people with experience in government, and on top of that it would not only need people for ministerial positions, but also for commissions.

“But an even bigger worry could be that after its key people become ministers, the Center Party’s parliamentary group wouldn’t just be left on its own, but likely tend towards Savisaar’s wing,” the paper wrote. In the case the next coalition would be made up of the Center and Reform parties, Taavi Rõivas couldn’t continue as prime minister, as he had excluded the possibility of working with the Center Party.

In the opinion of Õhtuleht, this would even be beneficial for the Reform Party, as it would get to kill two birds with one stone: It could replace its unpopular prime minister as well as gain a coalition partner a lot more ready to cooperate than the previous two.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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