EKRE and Isamaa table prime minister no-confidence motion

Martin Helme (left) and Helir-Valdor Seeder
Martin Helme (left) and Helir-Valdor Seeder Source: ERR

Opposition Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) and Isamaa MPs are to submit a no-confidence motion in Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) to the Riigikogu Tuesday.

The motion, which says the Kallas-led Reform/Center coalition has "attacked" the nation's defense forces, compromised national security and made bad economic decisions which affect families, was signed by all 19 EKRE MPs and 11 of Isamaa's 12 MPs, meaning it met the requirement of a quorum of 21 votes for a motion to be presented to the chamber.

Viktoria Ladõnskaja-Kubits was the sole Isamaa MP who did not sign the motion.

Isamaa leader Helir-Valdor Seeder recently initiated a no-confidence motion in defense minister Kalle Laanet (Reform) and was later joined by EKRE – Isamaa requires the support of another party's MPs for a motion to be put to the Riigikogu, and in reality EKRE as the sole other right-wing opposition party is likely to be the main go-to on this – but the Laanet motion failed.

Seeder said of Kallas' leadership that: "The way in which the Estonian national defense forces, the EDF and the Defense League have been attacked in a tense security situation is unacceptable and dangerous. The public has been repeatedly and deliberately misled."

"The government's decisions to abolish value-based measures, such as the income tax exemption on interest on home loans, and cuts at the expense of children's hobby education will hit young families the hardest," he added, via a press release.

Kaja Kallas was in Brussels Monday for a one-day NATO summit, meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the presidents of Latvia and Lithuania, among others.

EKRE's leader, Martin Helme, a former finance minister, said the current coalition does not build, but instead dismantles and reverses the achievements made in two years by the previous coalition, of which he and his party was a part, as was Isamaa.

The no-confidence motion itself echoes this wording and also says that the current coalition's decisions, since it entered office four-and-a-half months ago, have caused disruption in a significant way for business and regional development.

The other opposition party, the center-left Social Democrats (SDE) said Sunday they would be submitting their own no-confidence motion in Kallas, citing Reform's signature austerity measures as the main point of contention. Since SDE only has 11 seats, it would need to attract dissenting Center MPs, for instance, for its motion to be put before the house.

51 or more votes are required for a motion to actually pass; EKRE, Isamaa and SDE together have 42 MPs and therefore votes.

Following the failed Laanet no-confidence vote, this is the second such motion placed in the Reform/Center coalition since it entered office in late January. The Riigikogu finishes for summer on Thursday, while EKRE has been busy filibustering its regular and extra sessions.

As opposition leader, Kaja Kallas initiated several no-confidence motions in the Center/EKRE/Isamaa coalition and its leading ministers, all of which failed to pass.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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