President: Estonia needs an operational government post haste

President Alar Karis.
President Alar Karis. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

President Alar Karis said that the domestic political situation has finally become clearer, adding that Estonia now quickly needs an able government.

"It saddens me that several ministers released from office had to learn about it from the media. But the government collapse was some time coming," the president said at a press conference on Friday.

"Estonia quickly needs an operational coalition and government," Karis said.

He said that Europe is seeing the worst security crisis in decades, with energy security and socioeconomic questions that need to be answers in terms of funding.

PM Kaja Kallas said on Friday that the board of the Reform Party has decided to invite the Social Democratic Party (SDE) and Isamaa for coalition talks. "I would like to see politicians make purposeful efforts to find allies and agreement," the president suggested.

"I must add that all those who find that politics is nothing personal are wrong. As is always the case between people, there is plenty that is personal in politics. I urge all politicians to rise above umbrage and misjudgment," he said.

Asked what would happen were the Riigikogu to express loss of confidence in Kallas tomorrow, Karis said that because Reform won the 2019 election, he would make the proposal to form a new government to the Reform Party first.

Karis said that while several options have been discussed, including holding extraordinary elections, they are just that and remain a last-ditch option.

"I have spoken to heads of all parties in the last two or three days, several times with some. The situation today is not unexpected. Kaja Kallas has decided to form a new coalition, which is her right and obligation as head of government, to move forward," the president offered.

When asked whether a Reform Party minority government would be a good fit for Estonia, Karis said no such proposal is on the table today. "The important thing is for the government – even if it is a minority government – to be functional," Karis said.

The president said that the point is not that we have a government crisis but how it will be solved.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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