Many-time minister and negotiating delegation member Ivari Padar (SDE) said on ERR's "Otse uudistemajast" webcast that a situation where one partner's chairman is not part of the government is detrimental to the functioning of the coalition.
"History tells us that coalitions formed without the participation of one or more of the partners' chairmen start out unhealthy. It is not a good working environment when one of the leaders is criticizing from the back seat so to speak. Something like that will not work," Padar suggested.
Host Anvar Samost asked Padar what would be the price of a minority government considering current "parliamentary mathematics."
"The opposition will not be forsaking its duties just because there is a minority government, such as pushing something very unpleasant in the latter's path. Presumably something to do with the state budget or Estonian-language education," Padar said.
"However, I would very much like to hope the three-way coalition currently being negotiated will result in an effective government, despite elections in nine months," he said.
Padar said that recent years' "money comes from the ATM" attitude doesn't mean rulers' decisions should be deeply irrational. "We need to find a balanced way of surviving this winter while taking Estonia forward. It will have to include a package [of measures] to support subsistence, there is no way around it," the politician suggested.
Regarding coalition agreements, Padar said that the more detailed they are, the less potential for disagreement later on.
He also said that the sides usually try to include something to be done right away. "For example, March elections mean that the May state budget strategy must include the party's priorities."
Padar said that the incoming coalition agreement will be rather concrete, giving the example of the need to do something about Estonian-language education.
In terms of ministerial portfolios, the Social Democratic Party (SDE) politician said the principle of proportionality will be observed. "That if one party has one key ministry, others will have theirs. It is sensible to form a coalition without a ticking time-bomb. Giving all sides a dignified and sensible chance to participate," Padar said.
He said that for the Social Democrats, the family benefits hike and a few other SDE bills in proceedings are a condition for joining the government. Padar also highlighted the problem of high nursing home fees SDE would like to reform, as well as school catering.
Editor: Marcus Turovski