PM: Reform for extraordinary elections but decision up to the president
Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said that a vote of no confidence in her would prompt the Reform Party to inquire about the possibility of extraordinary elections, while the decision is up to the president.
Kallas said that a coalition between the Center Party, Isamaa and the Conservative People's Party (EKRE) would require a vote of no confidence in her that would give Reform grounds to request extraordinary elections.
"The Constitution does provide the possibility. However, the decision is up to the president at the end of the day. The government would be within its rights to propose it and it would be peculiar not to seize the opportunity," Kallas said when answering ERR's questions during the Thursday government press conference.
The premier added that even though the ratings would favor Reform going into extraordinary elections, that is not something the president can base his decision on.
"He must not weigh who would benefit and who would lose. The president needs to decide whether parliamentary democracy needs protecting or not. That is his discretion there. What we can decide is to make the proposal."
Minister of Rural Affairs Urmas Kruuse (Reform) added that extraordinary elections would help clear the air.
The PM also talked about what it would cost to hike family benefits, also in terms of potential tax hikes in the future.
"These amendments (family benefits hike – ed.) would cost €285 million in 2023. We would have to hike VAT from 20 percent to 23 percent. Or we could tax income, hiking the tax rate from the current 20 percent to 24 percent. Were we to look to excise duties, they would have to be hiked by 30 percent. Those are the figures people fighting for nothing but expenses should be voicing," Kallas said.
Kallas added that the Reform Party does not want to hike taxes but also understands why Isamaa finds raising child benefits so important.
"And should Isamaa decide in our favor, decide to launch talks with us, that is one of the things we will be discussing," the PM offered, adding that Reform would like it to be a part of state budget strategy deliberations.
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Editor: Marcus Turovski