Newspaper: New coalition's cabinet may equally divide minister appointments, give partners five each

Meeting at Tallinn Creative Hub discussing the formation of a new ruling coalition. Nov. 10, 2016. (Anna Aurelia Minev/ERR)
11/17/2016 9:11 AM
Category: News

If negotiators of the new ruling coalition being formed — which includes the Center Party, the Social Democrats and IRL — are able to reach a consensus on points of the coalition agreement on Thursday, the allocation of minister positions will immediately begin to be discussed on the party chairman level.

Daily Eesti Päevaleht (link in Estonian) noted that if the Free Party is not invited to join the new coalition, a matter which should become clear sometime Thursday — ministerial appointments will likely be divided between the three coalition parties equally.

Thus far, the Reform Party was responsible for seven and junior partners four ministerial appointments each, however according to the paper there are two primary reasons to favor a 5+5+5 division between the three partners in the new coalition — for one, it would be easier to divide the shares, so to speak, into equal thirds, which will make everyone feel equal, and for another, Jüri Ratas (Center) wants to demonstrate that a different, more equal approach to leadership is possible as well.

The only sure detail is that Ratas will be the candidate for Estonia’s new prime minister and SDE chairman Jevgeni Ossinovski and IRL chairman Margus Tsahkna will be ministers in his government — whether the latter two will continue in their current posts or are interested in new fields is another matter.

Regarding Center Party members, the paper is more than confident that Kadri Simson will be made a minister and speculated about Mihhail Korb and Simson’s father Aadu Must, however they found that it was not logical for a father and daughter to serve in the same government together.

In the paper’s opinion, another considerable candidate would be Taavi Aas, were he not tasked with keeping Tallinn’s city government together, and Mailis Reps, who, together with Center Party Secretary general Jaak Aab were the only party members with ministerial experience, will remain in the Riigikogu as chairman of the party’s parliamentary group.

As Ratas is not afraid of non-party specialists, it cannot be ruled out that he may invite such a person to be a part of his government.

Of SDE, the paper found that Sven Mikser may end up a minister again and IRL’s ministerial candidates may include Marko Mihkelson and Kaia Iva. The paper also noted that Matti Maasikas’ name has also been whispered in Brussels as well.

The chairmen of the Center Party, SDE and IRL have until Friday at the latest to reach an agreement on the matter as all parliamentary parties’ councils will be convening on Saturday to approve both the new coalition agreement as well as ministerial candidates.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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