Free Party chairman: Time for junior coalition parties to make up their mind
Both the Social Democrats as well as IRL as the coalition’s junior parties could put an end to “this incapable government of stagnation” by supporting the opposition’s vote of no confidence against Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas (Reform), Free Party chairman Andres Herkel said on Tuesday.
“We are happy to give them time to gather their thoughts,” Herkel said after a meeting with opposition leaders. “The chairman of IRL, for instance, tried to sound like a lion over the weekend, but what we expect instead are actions. This government was put together on the wrong basis at the time, they first handed out money to keep election promises and only then they started to look at how to get it back with excise duty hikes. The outcome is that consumers are buying these goods in Latvia, and no measures to support the economy have been taken.”
Other reasons for the no-confidence motion included administrative reform and its redrawing of borders, which didn’t improve the capabilities of municipalities but tended to centralize everything, Herkel said. He also named the absence of clear proposals as regards to the financing of the health care system and the sustainability of pensions as other reasons for the move.
“If we add to this the current failures in the organization of ferry traffic, and the continued politicization of the management of state-owned companies, there are plenty of reasons,” Herkel said.
In response to Tsahkna’s Sunday statement that Estonia was “stuck in the mud”, Herkel didn’t hold back with criticism. “Sounding like a lion at the meeting of the party’s extended board, and sharply criticizing the head of government while being a member of the government, that is not enough. What is needed is action and courage to take risks for the sake of a better government that would focus not on survival, but on change,” Herkel said.
“We have the same expectation when it comes to the Social Democrats. Urve Palo says that there are many people among them who are against the governing practices of the Reform Party. But let them come out and vote for no confidence in Rõivas then. We will definitely ask for signatures from representatives of IRL and the Social Democrats next week as well. They have to finally offer a clear answer to their identity problem, because you can’t be for and against the government at the same time,” Herkel said.