Minister: Debate between coalition parties is not a bad thing

Jaak Aab.
Jaak Aab. Source: ERR

Minister of Public Administration Jaak Aab (Center) said the government's work is going smoothly and the disputes between the members of the Center Party and the Reform Party related to coronavirus restrictions should not be viewed so negatively.

Speaking on Thursday's "Esimene stuudio" broadcast, Aab said while the Center Party Riigikogu group criticizes the government, which it is a member of, the party is united.

"The views, worldviews, solutions and proposals of the parties are still similar within the party. We are not doing different things," he said.

Aab said that it is good for politicians to debate issues of importance. "The debate - I would not look at it so negatively. In fact, I think it is quite good if in a parliamentary republic the political groups, even if they are members of the coalition and the Riigikogu, can express their opinions and make proposals."

One example is Jaanus Karilaid, the chairman of the Center Party faction, accusing the government of indecision regarding the introduction of rapid tests.

Aab said the government is making decisions and it is not easy. He explained that while a company decides on its own profits and employees, government decisions affect the well-being of hundreds of thousands of people.

"That's why these decisions are hard to come by. We don't deny that we have very different worldviews from the Reform Party. But we have also been able to decide through these debates, discussions and pretty quickly when needed. So I don't see a problem here," he said.

"Often the substantive work falls under crises. We manage crises, it stands out and if there is no decision, it is said that there is no co-operation. We do the substantive work that ministries, agencies, institutions bring to the government every day, every week and I would say it is still very smooth. "

Presenter Mirko Ojakivi asked Aab what he thinks about the fact that some people believe the Center Party's plan is to always look better and do more for voters than coalition partner the Reform Party.

"No, I don't think so. It's a very simplistic view or a bit of conspiracy theory," he said.

Aab said the difference between the Center Party and the Reform Party in the government is that the Center Party wants to make decisions quickly, but the Reform Party monitors the budget balance and responsibilities more closely.

Regarding the easing of coronavirus restrictions, Aab said the question now is not whether they will be relaxed, but when.

In his opinion, for example, the current system of mass PCR testing, the organization of school life, should be reconsidered.

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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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