Center Party and IRL would have EKRE in new coalition (3)
The Center Party as well as the Pro Patria and Res Publica Union (IRL) could imagine a coalition that would include the Estonian Conservative People’s Party (EKRE). The Social Democrats, the second-largest group in the coalition currently being negotiated, are against it.
Daily Eesti Päevaleht wrote on Friday that Center Party chairman Jüri Ratas would like EKRE in his government to have a more stable government. If some members of his own party in the Riigikogu should not vote for Ratas as prime minister, having EKRE in the coalition would still give him the chance to keep the government working.
“Jüri’s worry is that he isn’t sure whether all of his parliamentary group’s votes will hold up. As it could be a close call, he would like an additional guarantee,” chairman of EKRE’s parliamentary group, Martin Helme, said.
IRL chairman Margus Tsahkna confirmed again that they were ready to talk to anyone except the Reform Party.
Meanwhile the Social Democrats refuse to include EKRE. “The majority government will be formed by three parties. It is clear that EKRE won’t be in this coalition. Of course their contributions are welcome,” chairman of the Social Democrats, Jevgeni Ossinovski, said.
Päevaleht pointed out that the Reform Party pushed for a coalition with Center despite the fact that at the same time it was accusing it of being too close to Russia, pointing at the cooperation agreement between the Center Party and Putin’s United Russia.
Deputy chairman of the Center Party Jaanus Karilaid confirmed to Päevaleht that he had had a call from a Reform Party representative, who asked if the coalition with the Social Democrats and IRL was a done deal.
“The Reform Party is fidgeting, and they would gladly tie the knot with us,” Karilaid said, adding that he told them they first needed to get their own internal issues sorted out. “As long as you don’t learn from your mistakes, and as long as you don’t replace your chairman Taavi Rõivas with Hanno Pevkur or Kristen Michal, we won’t have anything to do with you,” Karilaid said he had told the Reform member who called him.
Karilaid added that from what the Reform Party member said, he understood that they were thinking about doing just that.