Estonian coalition negotiations to start on Monday afternoon

Priit Sibul.
Priit Sibul. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Negotiations to form a new governing coalition will start on Monday (June 13) afternoon at 4 p.m. between Reform, Isamaa and the Social Democratic Party (SDE).

The first topic up for discussion will be education, Priit Sibul, Isaamaa Secretary General, told ETV's "Terevisioon" breakfast show on Monday morning. The voting down of a bill aimed at transitioning to Estonian language teaching in pre-school was one of the reasons the previous government collapsed.

He believes specific agreements need to reached not general, referring to the outcome of the previous Reform/Center coalition's negotiations in 2021.

Sibul said this weak agreement was partly to blame for the cabinet's collapse and infighting.

There are no plans to reach an agreement as soon as possible, he said.

It is also unusual that one of the negotiating partners is already in power and holds the position of prime minister, he said. He reiterated Isamaa believes Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) should resign from the position, but did not give his own opinion.

Reform Party whip Mart Võrklaev told ERR the party wants to conclude negotiations as soon as possible, ideally within the next two weeks.

No red lines have been drawn yet, he said. There could be a possible reduction in fuel excise duty.

Kallas' possible resignation as prime minister can only be discussed once negotiations have led to the creation of a coalition agreement, Võrklaev said.

Over the weekend, Isamaa, after a week of deliberations, agreed to start coalition negotiations with Reform and SDE rather than Center and EKRE.

Ten days ago, Kallas kicked the Center Party and its seven ministers out of the coalition after a long-running dispute over family benefits and pre-school education.

This meant the government stayed intact but as a minority.

If the three parties can reach an agreement it will give the coalition 55 seats in the 101-seat Riigikogu, a very slim majority.

Editors note: This article was corrected to say the Reform/Isamaa/SDE coalition will have 55 seats in total.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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