Ratas: Multiple parties have already expressed interest in cooperating with Center Party
According to the Center Party's newly-elected chairman Jüri Ratas, the opposition will be submitting its expression of no confidence against Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas (Reform) on Monday and multiple parties have already expressed their desire to begin cooperating with the Center Party.
Ratas hopes that in addition to the Center Party, the Free Party and the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE), MPs from the country's coalition parties will step forward to support the expression of no confidence against the current prime minister as well, reported ETV's news broadcas "Aktuaalne kaamera."
"What happens next, if the no-confidence measure should go through — I think that this will be a totally new situation," said Ratas.
Reform Party Deputy Chairman Jürgen Ligi noted that one party's new chairman was elected and internal affairs cleared up on Saturday, not a new Riigikogu elected as the media has given the impression.
"Not a single idea for the development of society was discussed," said Ligi. "In that sense, there is no reason to discuss changes to the coalition. We have no complaints about our coalition partners doing the wrong things, but rather that they are being done slowly — that attention is being drawn to trivial things and that they are going along with the disparagement of the government."
The current ruling coalition in Estonia consists of the Reform Party and junior partners the Social Democratic Party (SDE) and the Pro Patria and Res Publica Union (IRL).
Ratas confirmed that other parties have signaled that they are ready for the formation of a new coalition in which the Center Party is a member.
"A signal has been given [asking] if the Center Party is prepared to sit down and negotiate," said the newly-elected party chairman. "For example, multiple politicians from the Riigikogu. This idea has been communicated from within the Reform Party but also from within other parties — I can't say that [it has been] only from one."
Ratas did not specify which parties have indicated their interest in a new coalition. According to him, however, the Center Party will enter into a coalition in which it will be possible to change the current economic situation and tax system.
The Center Party chairman found that the closest party to Center in party platform was the SDE, however it would not be possible to form a government from two parties. Ratas noted that within the Riigikogu, the Center Parliamentary Group would remain unified.
"We have all run and sought the support of Estonian residents for our platform positions and I don't even see a chance that if the opportunity comes knocking after ten years, the parliamentary group would say no, we don't want that after all," Ratas commented on the opportunity for the Center Party to potentially become part of a ruling coalition.
Ratas already to knock on parties' doors
Appearing on ETV's morning news broadcast "Terevisioon" on Monday morning, Ratas replied to an inquiry as to whether he should begin knocking on diferent parties' doors this week already, saying, "Not should, but Jüri Ratas must and will do that this week — certainly today already."
The largest opposition party's new chairman admitted that the expression of no confidence to be submitted to Estonia's prime minister on Monday did not include the signature of a single MP from the current ruling coalition, and could not predict when the coalition might collapse.
"If I knew, then I would say the time or date," explained Ratas, adding, however, that he felt that there was increasing lack of a common core in the government. "The expectations of society are fairly great that we get rid of certain dogmas or stagnation."