Free Party not to be part of new ruling coalition
According to information made available to ERR, it was decided at Friday morning's coalition talks that the Free Party will not be part of Estonia's new coalition government.
The Free Party's fate was confirmed to ERR on Friday morning by party communications manager Epp Alatalu.
ETV news broadcast "Aktuaalne kaamera" reported party chairman Andres Herkel as saying that the Free Party was offered an intermediate option, however the party was concerned that in joining the government, they would suffer the same fate as the Estonian Greens and be used only for their votes.
Center Party chairman Jüri Ratas noted that from a leadership logic standpoint, it wouldn't be a good idea for a coalition to include too many parties.
Free Party MP Monika Haukanõmm stated that it seemed to her that Ratas will become the same sort of indecisive prime minister as Taavi Rõivas (Reform) was.
Free MP Artur Talvik stated that the Free Party was against them getting the Minister of Rural Affairs position as the Social Democrats represented the interests of big businesses. The party also found that Liisa Oviir should not be allowed to continue as Minister of Entrepreneurship.
The parties to make up the new coalition being formed — the Center Party, IRL and the Social Democratic Party — had met with the Free Party on two separate occasions before making their final decision.