Estonia's new government takes office

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Kaja Kallas' second government, the Reform/Isamaa/SDE coalition, took office on July 18, 2022.
Kaja Kallas' second government, the Reform/Isamaa/SDE coalition, took office on July 18, 2022. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Ministers from Estonia's next coalition took the oath of office on Monday afternoon, starting their eight-month term in power.

Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) and her 14 ministers were sworn in in front of the Riigikogu.

The coalition replaces Kallas' minority government which had been in place since early June. It will be in office for eight months, through the next Riigikogu elections to take place in March 2023.

Facts: Reform/Isamaa/SDE coalition

The will be 15 ministers in the new coalition, five from each party.

Six of the proposed ministers have no previous ministerial experience and five of those are not sitting members of the Riigikogu.

Four ministers will continue in their previous positions.

Of the 15 ministers, seven are women, including the prime minister.

The average age of ministers is 45.6 years old. The oldest is 60 and the youngest 31.

Read about the new ministers here.

Karis: You must be a crisis-solving government

Kaja Kallas' second government, the Reform/Isamaa/SDE coalition, took office on July 18, 2022. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

President Alar Karis appointed the Reform/Isamaa/SDE coalition earlier in the day, addressing the incoming government with a short speech.

ERR News is reproducing the head of state's speech in full:

"Honored Government of the Republic! Now is not the time for long speeches, and the best thing would be to send you ministers off to your ministries with three words ⁠— get to work!

"Nonetheless, a few additional words:

"You all know that you won't be given 100 days to peacefully adapt, and requesting them would be unreasonable, unfair right now. Your work begins immediately, today, after giving your oaths of office in the Riigikogu, and you won't be getting any more vacation time this summer.

"You have been called a crisis government. I don't agree with that definition. In a span of eight months, you must be a crisis-solving government. If you want something figurative, then you must be a firefighting or ambulance government. On that note, the house cannot burn down, and the patient must survive.

"Security crisis. Energy crisis. Price increase crisis. COVID crisis. Refugee crisis. These are Estonia's concerns ⁠— all of Europe's concerns. The solving of these [crises] is your responsibility as the political leaders of your fields, the responsibility of the prime minister as head and keeper of the government, but also the responsibility of the chairs of the parties who nominated you as candidates for minister. This is a three-party government and three parties' responsibility.

"You will be successful if ⁠— though hard ⁠— you think as little as possible about the upcoming parliamentary elections, if you can manage to grow quickly into a unified team, if the coalition learns immediately and with few stumbles to breathe and step in unison, and if you see and understand the opposition alongside you as well.

"Coalitions will come and go, and governments change ⁠— that is an everyday part of democracy, and a strength of our state. Of course every minister and every government wants to leave a bright legacy behind them. I ⁠— and it would be reasonable for everyone to follow suit ⁠— won't prejudge you, but rather [judge you] based on what you did or left undone.

"Now, really ⁠— strength to work!


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Editor: Helen Wright, Aili Vahtla

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