Center Party waiting for coalition offer from Reform, SDE and IRL not attending coalition meeting

Partymates Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (left) and MP Jaanus Karilaid, chairman of the Legal Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu (right). (Rene Suurkaev/ERR)
11/7/2016 2:48 PM
Source: BNS, ERR
Category: News

Deputy chairman of the Center Party, Jaanus Karilaid, said on Monday that several Reform Party politicians had approached them to discuss the possibility of a new coalition. The Center Party was now waiting for an official offer, he added. SDE and IRL meanwhile announced they would not participate in Monday’s coalition meeting.

Karilaid said that if the Reform Party were to make a cooperation offer, they would consider it. “We have been saying that we are ready to join the government for a long time now, and we’ll see what today brings,” he said, though adding that in his personal opinion, the Reform Party should be Center’s last choice.

The Center Party’s leadership would discuss the situation on Monday afternoon, Karilaid said.

SDE and IRL not attending Monday’s coalition meeting

Chairman of the Social Democrats’ parliamentary group, Andres Anvelt, said the party’s representatives were not going to take part in Monday’s coalition meeting. The Pro Patria and Res Publica Union (IRL) announced the same.

“Over the last few days the Reform Party has made proposals to the Center Party to form a new government. The motivator has been the issue of state-owned enterprises’ supervisory boards, but that of course is just an excuse,” Anvelt said, adding that the leadership of the Social Democrats was going to meet on Monday at 5 p.m. to discuss the situation.

Chairman of IRL’s parliamentary group, Priit Sibul, said that there was no need to meet with the coalition partners on Monday and discuss this week’s agenda. "In a situation where the Reform Party has made a concrete coalition offer to the Center Party, trust in the coalition has suffered considerably. Therefore we are convening the board of the party to discuss the political situation, and do not consider it necessary for the coalition to meet,” Sibul said.

Ratas: All other parties have contacted Center Party

Newly elected chairman of the Center Party, Jüri Ratas, told Vikerraadio on Monday that all three coalition parties had contacted them with cooperation offers. At the same time, he couldn’t say that one of them was any keener than all the others.

Ratas said that he was surprised by the fact that interest in the Center Party had increased substantially even before Saturday’s extraordinary party congress. “Such fluctuations or cracks start inside the coalition, not outside it,” Ratas said.

Very serious talks regarding political positions would be necessary for forming a government coalition, Ratas stressed. He added that ideas from all parliamentary groups should be included in the drawing-up of a coalition agreement, as well as those of experts outside politics. “I believe that the government should be flexible when it comes to new ideas,” Ratas said.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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