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Isamaa in no hurry to pick coalition, Social Democrats baffled by stalling

Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) meeting with the leaders of the other four parties represented at the Riigikogu; from left, Martin Helme (EKRE), Jüri Ratas (Center), Helir-Valdor Seeder (Isamaa) and Lauri Läänemets (SDE).
Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) meeting with the leaders of the other four parties represented at the Riigikogu; from left, Martin Helme (EKRE), Jüri Ratas (Center), Helir-Valdor Seeder (Isamaa) and Lauri Läänemets (SDE). Source: Government office.

Head of the Social Democratic Party (SDE) Lauri Läänemets does not understand Isamaa's decision to take its time deciding whether to marry the Reform Party and SDE or Center and EKRE for Estonia's next coalition.

Isamaa Secretary General Priit Sibul said on the "Terevisioon" morning show that the party will first meet with sides to both potential coalitions, listen to their proposals and only then make its decision. Isamaa leader Helir-Valdor Seeder on Monday evening suggested the matter could be decided at the party's council meeting on Saturday.

"I do not understand what there is to think about," Lauri Läänemets, chairman of the Social Democratic Party (SDE), said, also on "Terevisioon." He added that the previous coalition of the Center Party, Isamaa and the Conservative People's Party (EKRE) called into question Estonia's EU and NATO membership that clashes with pro-Estonian and pro-European policy and should be out of the question.

Läänemets said that the impression according to which Isamaa is the only kingmaker is mistaken. SDE needs to be on board for a coalition with Reform and Isamaa to work.

He said that SDE prioritizes external and internal security, with feelings of security in society and matters of subsistence parts therein.

That is why SDE continues to support hiking family benefits to curb child poverty and help people cope, Läänemets remarked.

But the matter should be seen more broadly – whether the benefits will be amended by a coalition under Reform or one under Center that could borrow another €3 billion on top of that.

Sibul highlighted family benefits, that the party believes would be best solved through the bill currently in Riigikogu proceedings (on which Center joined the opposition, thus initiating the government split – ed.), as well as Estonian education as its main priorities following national security. The former does not sit well with Reform, while the latter is problematic for Center.

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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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