The political situation today is similar to right after 2019 Riigikogu elections, meaning that we could see the recent coalition continue, political scientist Martin Mölder says.
"One should not repeat the same mistake made after 2019 elections in terms of one's expectations when it was believed that [Reform Party leader] Kaja Kallas would form the government. While the ball is once again in her court and the president has quite properly asked her to form a government, the solution depends on the situation in the Riigikogu and which candidate will secure the majority. There are a lot of loose ends and the situation does not differ from 2019 for Kallas," Mölder told Vikerraadio's "Uudis+" program on Wednesday.
Mölder suggested that both Isamaa and the Conservative People's Party (EKRE) have made it known the recent coalition continuing would be acceptable. "Therefore, everything depends on what Isamaa will decide. It also depends on what Kallas can offer Center to materialize a two-way coalition," he found.
"The possibility of the current coalition moving forward should not be discarded. While that does not mean Jüri Ratas will continue – that is unlikely. We could also see a new prime minister from EKRE or Isamaa," Mölder said.
The political scientist said that a minority coalition or one with too many members will probably not be created nor does he deem a Reform-EKRE marriage likely, while coalitions between Reform and Center, Reform, Isamaa and SDE or a new coalition of Center, EKRE and Isamaa are all possible at this time. "I dare not say right now which is the most likely."
Isamaa could be the one to decide again
Mölder emphasized that Isamaa might once again get to decide whether a three-way coalition will be formed between them, Center and EKRE or with the Reform Party and the Social Democratic Party (SDE).
"The situation is similar to what we had after the 2019 elections to some extent. But I think it is not such a difficult choice for Isamaa today. Isamaa is not the same party it was four or five years ago. They have clearly tried to shape a conservative identity and bringing two liberal parties (Reform and SDE) to the coalition would not match that identity," the analyst explained.
On the other hand, much is also up to the Center Party – whether they want to form a government with Reform, Mölder added. "It is more likely than two years ago because back then, heads of both parties would have been members of the government. It is possible Ratas would not participate this time and that makes this option more likely today."
The outcome of attempts by Reform to form a government will still be determined by what Center and Isamaa decide," Mölder said.
Mölder did not consider extraordinary elections likely. "It could be that Reform and SDE are considering gaining an ally (Eesti 200 – ed.) that way, but I do not believe the situation will linger long enough to bring us to extraordinary elections. I believe that a coalition option will be found. And we cannot discount the possibility of the recent coalition staying on."
Mölder described Ratas' decisions to resign as a strong move. "It was a great move, politically speaking – perhaps the best option for Jüri Ratas and Center as it gives them the chance to exit the situation victorious, even though it may take years," Mölder said, adding that had the recent government continued, it would have meant working in the shadow of suspicions that would have undermined it. But by resigning and taking a time-out, they can let the dust settle. "It was a successful move and the right one to make."
Editor: Marcus Turovski