Prime minister on vacation for rest of July

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A cabinet meeting in progress at the Stenbock House. Source: Stenbocki maja Flickr

Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) is on vacation for most of the rest of July. Minister for Public Administration Jaak Aab (Center) is deputizing for her during that time.

The government's media adviser Liisi Poll told ERR Tuesday that: "During the prime ministers' and ministers' holidays, government meetings and cabinet meetings still take place every week, while a quorum is always guaranteed at the meetings".

"The substitution of ministers takes place in accordance with the replacement procedure," Poll said. This would include Aab's temporary job swap as head of government.

Kallas is off from July 20-30 inclusive.

Many other ministers are off this week, perhaps unsurprisingly given it is July, including environment minister Tõnis Mölder (Center) and economics affairs and communications minister Taavi Aas (Center), with most others taking the traditional July/August summer break.

By mid-August all the ministers will have had their summer vacation, education minister Liina Kersna's (Reform) being the last one (August 2-13).

Finance minister Keit-Pentus Rosimannus (Reform) went on maternity leave on July 3, while justice minister Maris Lauri (Reform) will be deputizing for her during that time.

Since the summer is followed by two major elections – the presidential election process, which starts August 31, and the local elections on October 17 – the latter part of August is likely to see more canvassing and other activity then usual.

The Riigikogu's schedule has been rearranged as a result. Instead of coming back at the beginning of September for regular sessions, this date has been put back around two weeks. However, the chamber still has to convene on an extraordinary basis for the presidential election process.

Speaker Jüri Ratas (Center) and other leading politicians have expressed a wish to get the next president elected via the Riigikogu ballots and to not see the process be prolonged to ballots at the regional electoral college – which is the procedure if the Riigikogu draws a blank.

On the other hand, no presidential candidate has been put up formally by any of the parties, with six weeks to go until the start of the election process.

Schools go back as per tradition on September 1, while Friday, August 20 is a national holiday (restoration of independence day).

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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