Sunday talk shows: Reform rating plummeting because of Kallas
Kaja Kallas has turned out to be a weak and visionless leader whose Achilles' heel is public speaking, which is what is causing the Reform Party's rating to plummet, hosts of Sunday radio talk shows "Olukorrast riigis" and "Samost ja Aaspõllu" found.
Ignar Fjuk, who recently quit the Reform Party, counted among his reasons Reform having become a people's party with no clear views. Host of "Olukorrast riigis" Hindrek Riikoja said that the transformation happened a decade ago and wondered why it took Fjuk so long to realize.
His co-host Indrek Lepik remarked that Reform became a faceless party for the masses under chairman Andrus Ansip.
Riikoja pointed to former Reform Party minister Meelis Atonen who has been openly critical of his party for years and suggested that critics' concerns are justified.
"Reform's conduct as the leading government partner is gutless, lacks a clear vision and ideals," Riikoja said, adding that the only thing that is observed is the "mystical fiscal balance."
"Kaja Kallas' leadership suggests Reform are once again looking at a stint in the opposition. The heartlessness of politics is reflected in ratings," Riikoja said, adding that the Kallas administration has failed to convince enough people to get vaccinated or avoid contact with others, while not doing enough to support entrepreneurs, which has left the Reform Party looking feckless.
Huko Aaspõllu said on "Samost ja Aaspõllu" that enterprise support cannot be aimed solely at making sure companies survive. However, he agreed that Kallas lacks charisma and comes off weak as prime minister.
Anvar Samost pointed to [former Reform leader] Andrus Ansip's criticism of Kallas and said he would like to know Ansip's motives and whose interests they represent.
"This is not the first time Ansip has been critical of Kallas," he said. "We should ask what is he hoping to achieve by attacking the chairman of his own party? He is clearly not simply running his mouth and this is entirely systematic action."
Samost added that public speaking is Kallas' weakness – government PR people get nervous every time Kallas is scheduled to appear in public.
"Kaja Kallas' fluttering performances have worked to erode Reform's rating from one week to the next," he said.
Aaspõllu found the Reform Party's rating just fine, which is why members of the party seem to have no real grounds for criticizing the chairman. That said, Aaspõllu admitted that a longer ratings slump would give Reform reason to elect a new leader. He also pointed out that Ansip named his former bureau chief [Minister of Education and Research] Liina Kersna as one of two people he believes would fit the bill.
"Everything she has promised has been done," Aaspõllu said of Kersna.
"Kersna has been consistent in her messages," Samost agreed, describing as peculiar Reform MPs' recent attempt to garner public support for Kallas.
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Editor: Marcus Turovski