Ex-Center MPs Call for Unity in Petition to Oust Minister
After meeting with Justice Minister Kristen Michal today, five independent MPs said they cannot support a petition to initiate a vote of no confidence against the minister unless the opposition is unanimous.
Rainer Vakra, one of the MPs belonging to a loose union of defectors from the Center Party, said a failed vote of confidence would only solidify support for the minister, reported Postimees.
"Unfortunately the Center Party's unexpected and incomprehensible step to support the coalition has shattered the unity of the opposition of the Estonian Parliament. This is damaging to the Republic of Estonia, because the presence of a strong opposition keeps the coalition parties under control and secures democracy,” said Vakra.
Vakra reiterated the assertion that Michal should step down voluntarily, because he is suspected in a criminal investigation of inciting a fellow Reform Party member to move funds from an unnamed source into the party's pockets in the form of private donations.
The minister has previously said that he would resign if indicted.
The Social Democrats launched a petition for a vote of confidence against the minister earlier this month. Fifty-one votes would be needed for a vote of no confidence. Such a decision would require votes from the coalition parties, which together have 56 members in the 101-member Parliament.