Kallas, Rõivas trade views on whether Reform Party has grown too entrenched

Kallas (left) and Rõivas (right), with Rõivas's longtime predecessor Andrus Ansip in the middle.
12/4/2014 3:17 PM
Category: Politics

The Reform Party has received some criticism from its own ranks - Siim Kallas, who was close to becoming prime minister earlier this year, said the party was in danger of becoming a misnomer. The prime minister, Taavi Rõivas, disagreed, saying that dissent and fresh air were welcomed.

Rõivas was asked at today's Cabinet press conference whether he agreed with the criticism from Kallas.

"On the contrary. I value Siim Kallas's advice and criticism. I've said repeatedly that not only are different views allowed, they are welcomed. Ifthere's debate, then there's hope the truth will come out and it is possible to make decisions," said Rõivas.

Rõivas said some party members had told him after seeing Kallas's remarks that in fact the amount of cross-consultation with the party leadership had never been higher.

"No doubt everyone has their own style and there are questions where there his much time to discuss them, but there are questions where leaders must have the courage to make decisions and stand by them later. It is a mattert of responsibility," he said.

Kallas, the party's honorary chairman who spent years as a central bank governor and high European Commission official before returning and making an abortive run at the premier's post, said in an interview with Eesti Päevaleht daily that today only a narrow circle of people made the decision sin the party and the rest of the people were seen as undermining the efforts or as hostile.

"The party has been run for the last 15 years by one group of people and they are suffering from a very bad case of untouchability," he said.

He credited the party for operating with almost military efficiency but said: "I find it off-putting when I am required to submit to views that I played on part in shaping. […] This is not the political culture I'd have liked to see."


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