Reinsalu: Government crisis not Isamaa's doing, but solution our duty
While Isamaa is not responsible for the current government crisis, the party bears the burden of resolving it, Isamaa deputy chair Urmas Reinsalu says.
Appearing on ETV politics head-to-head show "Esimene stuudio" Tuesday evening, Reinsalu, a former foreign minister, said: "The point is, we haven't cooked this situation up. However, in fact, all the responsibility lies somewhat on our shoulders, psychologically speaking, awe have to be worthy of that responsibility."
"However, what's important is that we want to solve these problems with a more mature signature than this current, earlier government's signature has been.
It is not a question of procrastination for us, but it is also an important issue for us that decisions must have a new quality, in order to be more efficient and effective," Reinsalu went on.
Reinsalu was unable to say which way the party, which now has a choice of potential coalition alignments to plump for, would go – be it the Center Party offer along with the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE), or Reform's offer, made almost immediately after Center's ministers were dismissed last Friday, to join it and the Social Democrats (SDE).
He did reject claims that Isamaa had made a secret pact with Center and EKRE, however. "That this government collapsed with such a big bang after a long period of stagnation, lasting half-a-year already, came as quite a surprise to us too," he went on.
"Now, generally speaking, it is quite a situation where a government crisis has arisen from a government that was relatively incapacitated for half of a year."
Prime Minister Kaja Kallas' decision to dismiss the Center ministers demonstrated formally what had been in effect the case anyway - that the government was essentially incapable of functioning, Reinsalu added.
"Formally, we have a situation where we do not really have a government crisis in the constitutional sense, since the government is in office; politically as a de facto, transitional, minority government, but there is no government crisis."
"There is rather a political crisis, a crisis of governance, which is definitely a bad situation," he added.
Reinsalu said his party was not seeking office at any cost and was basing its decisions on principles.
Isamaa's leader, Helir-Valdor Seeder, said Monday that the party would wait until a board meeting on Saturday to decide what to do in terms of coalition negotiations.
Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) dismissed Center's seven government ministers last Friday and obtained presidential assent to do so on the same day - then-foreign minister Eva-Maria Liimets had to cut short an official visit to Canada as a result. The move followed weeks of deadlock over a bill to up family benefits which Center tabled unilaterally and which Reform had said had previously been agreed to have formed a part of the state budget debate process in the fall. Center also helped vote off the agenda a Reform-tabled bill to make kindergarten education Estonian-only.
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Editor: Andrew Whyte