Centre Party leaders demand Kallas apologize for Ratas remarks
Centre Party members have hit back at opposition Reform Party leader Kaja Kallas' claims that Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre) would sell Estonia up the river, if it meant remaining in office.
Speaking on ETV current affairs show Aktuaalne kaamera, Kallas said that she had not spoken with Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre) on the current controversy engulfing the coalition and rural affairs minister Mart Järvik (EKRE) and had no intention of entering into any Ratas-led coalition.
"I'm not ready to go to government if Jüri Ratas is prime minister. Looking at everything he has accomplished in the role, Jüri Ratas as prime minister would sell Estonia up the river, as soon as he could, to continue as prime minister, and I think this is not in Estonia's interests," Kallas said.
Jüri Ratas himself commented on Kallas' speech on his social media account, noting that the Reform leader had effectively accused him of treason.
"As Prime Minister of the Republic of Estonia, I have worked for Estonia for nearly three years at the head of two different governments. Today, opposition leader Kaja Kallas has essentially accused me of being open to treason," Ratas wrote on Tuesday night.
Social affairs minister Tanel Kiik said that Kallas should apologize.
Minister of Social Affairs Kiik commented on social media: "I read ERR's portal and initially assumed that what Kaja Kallas had said had been interpreted too vaguely," Kiik noted on his social media account Tuesday night.
"Unfortunately, the Aktuaalne kaamera interview leaves no doubt that the head of the Reform Party has indicted Jüri Ratas with the absurd accusation of selling off Estonia, for which she should apologize immediately," Kiik went on.
Chair of Centre's Riigikogu grouping Kersti Sarapuu echoed the line.
"The comments by Kaja Kallas reflect the desire of the opposition Reform Party to return to power, unelected. This is yet another example of the need for the Reform Party to be kept as far away from government responsibilities as possible," Sarapuu said.
"Kaja Kallas must publicly apologize for the grave offense. Otherwise she will be unfit to continue working in the Riigikogu," Sarapuu went on, according to ERR's online news in Estonian.
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Editor: Andrew Whyte