Siim Kallas not running for parliament in 2023
Veteran politician Siim Kallas (Reform) has confirmed that the current Riigikogu composition is his last, and that he will not run for re-election in the general election next March.
"I will already be 74 years old by the time of the elections," Kallas told ERR politics webcast "Otse uudistemajast" on Wednesday.
"Considering that after another four years, I will be 78. Well, I would have to look at my passport. I also still have health problems," he continued.
There are four years between Riigikogu elections.
Kallas, who is Reform's honorary chair, also hit out at long-term party co-laborer Andrus Ansip's recent attacks on Kaja Kallas' prime ministerial record.
Kaja Kallas is Siim's second child and only daughter; Ansip was prime minister 2007-2015 and is now an MEP.
"The Reform Party has always been proud of the fact that we have no factions, no big internal contradictions. that he is constantly attacking and attacking the party leader - let's say straight," Siim Kallas went on.
"He has said outright that the prime minister should resign, which means that the party leader should also resign. But then the question arises, what is the plan?" he continued.
The resignation of a prime minister triggers the exit from office of a coalition also.
Ansip is also setting up a situation where Reform may head into the March 2023 election divided, Kallas added.
"This is a problem. Ansip's performances are a problem," Kallas added, noting Ansip's figurehead role in the party.
Kallas said that he had not spoken to Ansip about the matter, nor heard anything to the effect that Ansip was going to launch a bid to return as Reform Party leader.
Just before Christmas, Ansip reiterated earlier criticism of Kallas' approach to the energy price inflation, which he had first publicly made the previous month, where he referred to her as a "Mõisapreili", a lady of leisure from the former Baltic German landowning class or their Estonian collaborators and a staple of Estonian literature and folklore.
While Kristen Michal, Reform's Tallinn city council chair, has also had his differences on the issue with the party leader, this was less serious, Siim Kallas said.
"[Michal] has been a member of the Reform Party for a very long time and has had a great deal of influence on party politics. He still works as an influence on it today," Kallas said, adding that he did not think Michal will switch party at any time.
Siim Kallas was a member of the Supreme Council of the Soviet Union shortly before Estonia became independent, and was prime minister for a year 2002-2003. He was an EU commissioner for 10 years, holding three different portfolios during that time, 2004-2014, and was mayor of Viimsi 2017-2019. He was returned as an MP in the March 2019 election.
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Editor: Andrew Whyte