As coalition talks continue, new Parliament holds first session
Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves opens the first session of the new Estonian Parliament, XIII Riigikogu, today.
101 MPs will take an oath of allegiance, which will be read out by the oldest member of the new Parliament, Rein Ratas (Center Party).
The Parliament will then elect a new speaker and two deputy speakers. Although the Reform Party, Social Democrats and IRL have not signed a coalition agreement yet, it is expected that they have agreed to re-elect Eiki Nestor (Social Democrats) as the Parliament Speaker. IRL is rumored to get one deputy speaker's position and the Center Party, as the largest opposition party, will take the other one.
Once the new speakers are elected, the current government, led by Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas, will formally stand down. President Ilves will then have two weeks to decide whom to invite to form the new government. Rõivas is expected to formally receive the invitation and will then have two weeks to put together the new cabinet.
Although the negotiations between Reform Party, Social Democrats and IRL have been in full speed for over a week, and last week Rõivas expressed hopes to reach to an agreement with his partners by the Parliament's opening session, the parties are somewhat short of the mark and differences between the partners have been evident, prompting Rõivas to propose many compromises.