Center Party MP Jüri Ratas could run for Parliament in the ranks of the Reform Party next year, and has been penciled in as the new environmental minister, according to daily Postimees.
The head of the Reform Party Tallinn branch, Kristen Michal, told the paper Ratas and the younger generation of Center Party members are finding it difficult to belong to a party whos leadership is directing Estonia towards United Russia, the leading political force in Russia.
Postimees is relying on rumors to make the claim, saying Urmas Paet will head to the European Parliament after Andrus Ansip is confirmed as Estonia's commissioner. Current environmental minister Keit Pentus-Rosimannus will take Paet's place and Ratas will become the new environmental minister.
A number of Center Party members have left to join other parties in the past two years, most notably Vilja Savisaar-Toomast (left for the Reform Party), Rainer Vakra (Social Democrats), Inara Luigas (Social Democrats) and Deniss Boroditš (Reform Party).