Political mathematics: Four new possible coalitions
Looking at the distribution of seats between political parties in the Riigikogu, there are four potential coalitions that could form after the resignation of the current government.
In the last national elections held in 2019, parties won the following number of seats:
- Reform: 34
- Center Party: 25
- EKRE: 19
- Isamaa: 12
- Social Democratic Party (SDE): 11
The new coalition needs 51 seats of the 101 seats available to have a majority and the more seats the better.
ERR's Estonian portal looked at the possible combinations for the next government.
Reform Party + Center Party: 59 seats
A coalition between the Reform Party and the Center Party is likely the most probable new coalition and would have a total of 59 seats. It would also be easier to reach an agreement with two parties instead of three. The prime minister of this coalition could be either Kaja Kallas or Jüri Ratas.
This possible coalition was considered to be the most likely after the last election in 2019. Reform chairman Kaja Kallas' reserved comments suggest the party does not want to repeat the mistakes of the past when it was left out of the previous coalition.
Comments made on Wednesday morning from SDE members Indrek Saar and Sven Mikser about the morality of working with the Center Party are clearly trying to put Reform in an awkward position when creating a future government.
Reform Party + Isamaa + SDE: 57 seats
A three-party coalition between the Reform Party, Isamaa and the SDE would have 57 seats. This is a union that has been seen before but had a difficult relationship which led to Reform losing power in 2016 after the two junior coalition parties formed an alliance with the Center Party.
The first point of action would be to shelve the marriage referendum.
Chairman of Isamaa Helir-Valdor Seeder said the three parties did not form a coalition in 2019 because Reform was against pension reform, a key Isamaa policy. Now that this has been carried out, the obstacles to forming a coalition seem to have disappeared.
Center Party + EKRE + Isamaa: 56 seats
The current government coalition has 56 seats and could continue in office if an agreement is reached. Secretary General of Isamaa Priit Sibul said on Wednesday morning it could continue in a more "complex combination". Chairman of EKRE Martin Helme also believes this to be possible.
Theoretically, it is would even be possible for Jüri Ratas to continue as prime minister, although MP Mailis Reps (Center) believes this should not happen.
The continuation of this union would give the Center Party an opportunity to demand that EKRE renounce the marriage referendum during new coalition negotiations.
However, it would give the opposition plenty of ammunition to use against the government until the next elections. It is also possible that several MPs could become independents in protest.
Reform Party + EKRE: 53 votes
A coalition between the Reform Party and EKRE and would also have the right number of seats. However, this option is considered the most unlikely, given the conflict of values over the issue of the marriage referendum.
Additionally, it is technically possible to have a minority government with four or five parties, but this is seen as unlikely. The SDE has also ruled out being in the same coalition as EKRE.
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Editor: Helen Wright