Reform, Center announce incoming ministers ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

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Incoming Prime Minister Kaja Kallas. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Kaja Kallas' government will have 14 ministers in addition to the Reform Party chairman as prime minister, seven each for Reform and Center.

The parties are sharing the 14 ministries between them, giving seven spots each, excluding the prime minister, set to be Kaja Kallas (Reform).

The parties will officially confirm incoming ministers around noon on Sunday, which is when the coalition partners' boards and councils are set to meet. Hints provided by negotiators suggest Minister of Social Affairs Tanel Kiik and Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Taavi Aas (both Center) will keep their positions transferring from the outgoing government.

It also seems Kallas has taken a step back after suggesting on "Aktuaalne kaamera" that Center that is currently at the heart of a corruption probe should not get the interior and justice portfolios. The position of internal affairs minister will go to the Police and Border Guard Board's (PPA) Northern Prefect Kristian Jaani (Center). The justice portfolio belongs to Reform and will be carried by Maris Lauri.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will go to the Center Party for the first time, with Estonian Ambassador to the Czech Republic Eva-Maria Liimets becoming foreign minister. Reform's Kalle Laanet, who has previously served as interior minister for the Center Party, will become defense minister.

The finance portfolio will go to Keit Pentus-Rosimannus who was also part of the Reform Party's negotiating team, while Liina Kersna (both Reform) will become minister of education and research.

Andres Sutt (Reform) will become minister of foreign trade and IT and Urmas Kruuse (Reform) minister of rural affairs.

The Ministry of Culture should answer to current Minister of Public Administration Anneli Ott, while chairman of the Riigikogu Social Affairs Committee Tõnis Mölder (both Center) should become environment minister.

Current Minister of Education and Research Jaak Aab (Center) will become minister of public administration again.

The coalition has decided to split the administrative areas of the Ministry of Social Affairs in two with Tanel Kiik remaining in charge of healthcare and Signe Riisalo (Reform) becoming minister of social protection.

The names of incoming ministers will be confirmed in a few hours' time.

Eva-Maria Liimets, Signe Riisalo, Keit Pentus-Rosimannus, Liina Kersna, Maris Lauri, Kristian Jaani, Kalle Laanet, Tõnis Mölder, Urmas Kruuse, Andres Sutt. Source: ERR/Office of the Riigikogu

Additionally, a new Riigikogu speaker and their two deputy speakers will need to be appointed.

The new government is planning to take office next week but first has to sign an agreement and then pass a vote in the Riigikogu ahead of approval from President Kersti Kaljulaid.

Reform and Center together have 59 seats in the 101-seat Riigikogu.

Coalition negotiations have been going on a little over a week, with topics covered including the taxation system, education, regional policy and corruption prevention.

The talks were sparked by Jüri Ratas' (Center) resignation as prime minister in the early hours of Wednesday, January 13, following corruption allegations related to a €39-million state loan to a major Tallinn real estate development.

Ratas' resignation automatically spelled the end of the coalition he had headed, with his party joining the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) and Isamaa in office. The latter two will now be in opposition, though Center remains in office, now with Reform.

See also our coalition negotiations Q&A here.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte, Marcus Turovski

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