Kallas suggests Center Party chairman resign as Riigikogu speaker

Chairman of the Riigikogu and Center Party Jüri Ratas should resign from his position, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) said on Wednesday.

Asked during parliamentary question time by EKRE opposition MP Peeter Ernits if she plans to resign, Kallas said she did not as there are no grounds in the constitution for her to do so.

The prime minister said if coalition negotiations with Isamaa and the Social Democratic Party collapse, Reform will continue as a minority government for as long as possible.

If the opposition does not like this prospect, they can organize a vote of no confidence, she said.

"As a member of parliament, you have a very good opportunity, under the Constitution, to hold a vote of no-confidence in me and take me down if it does not suit you and if you have a parliamentary majority together. Actually, for me, the only question is for the speaker of the Riigikogu who, for example, cannot be removed if the parliamentary majority changes. Maybe he should resign," she said.

Commenting on her retort, Ratas said that the Reform Party is increasingly confused in terms of the separation of powers, parliamentary administration and universal convictions.

Kallas said she will only consider resigning when a coalition agreement has been concluded. MPs from most parties have suggested the prime minister should resign, including negotiating partner Isamaa.

If MPs hold a vote of no-confidence which Kallas loses, this may end up triggering extraordinary elections. If elections are held now polling suggests this would be to the benefit of the Reform Party and may also allow non-parliamentary party Eesti 200 to get into the Riigikogu.

The next general election will be held in March 2023. The speaker is elected by MPs every spring.

Ratas' party and its seven ministers were kicked out of the coalition by Kallas almost two weeks ago over long-running disagreements.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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