Jüri Ratas: I now have more time for sauna and family

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Jüri Ratas (right) with host Arp Müller in the "Uudis+" studio last Friday. Source: ERR/ Anna-Maria Kurrel

Former prime minister Jüri Ratas (Center) recently reflected on life after leaving the post last month, saying that he now has more time not only for family and friends, but also for the sauna.

"We had an old [sauna] heater that we had used for over a couple of decades which just packed up. Since sauna has always played an important role in our family, I went to look for a new heater," Ratas told Vikerraadio show "Uudis+" last Friday, after being spotted in a hardware store checking out such products on the same day Kaja Kallas' (Reform) new government was being sworn in.

Ratas has by no means left politics altogether, and instead has opted to return to the Riigikogu, where he is tipped by many as potential next speaker, after Henn Põlluaas (EKRE) leaves that post in March.

"I think that being in the Riigikogu is a very important and meaningful job," Ratas told host Arp Müller.

"I have been elected there from the Rapla and Harju County [district list], and I will certainly stand up for the same principles that I have stood for in the preceding four years," he added.

Ratas won a Riigikogu seat at the March 2019 general election, polling 9,702 votes. However, government ministers, including the prime minister, do not sit in parliament, meaning their seat goes to the next candidate on a district list not to have already won a seat. In Ratas' case this would have been Imre Sooäär, who only took up his seat in December (Sooäär is a former Reform Party MP), but with Tõnis Mölder (Center) being promoted to environment minister, there is room in the Riigikogu both for him and Ratas.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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