Reform Party weighing four coalition options

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Reform Party leadership meeting after election victory.
Reform Party leadership meeting after election victory. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

The leadership of the Reform Party, which won the Riigikogu elections, met on Monday morning to discuss the next steps in building a governing coalition. The party leader, Kaja Kallas, said that a decision would be made soon, possibly on Tuesday or Wednesday.

The Reform Party won the March 5 parliamentary elections with 31,2 percent of the vote, or 37 mandates in the Riigikogu.

There are four possible coalitions, according to Kallas: the Reform Party and the Center Party; the present coalition of the Reform Party, the Social Democrats and Isamaa; the Reform Party, Eesti 200, and the Social Democrats; and the Reform Party, Eesti 200, and Isamaa.

A four-party coalition, according to Kallas, is theoretically possible but is not a viable solution.

"We weighed the benefits and drawbacks of each of the four options. Some topics had to be discussed with the other parties' leaders before we could make a formal proposal to begin negotiations," she said.

Kallas said she will contact the leaders of the potential coalition partners and then the Reform Party's board will meet again to make a final decision on who to aks for negotiations.

This will take time, according to Kallas, and the Reform Party's leadership is unlikely to meet again on Monday, but it could happen on Tuesday or Wednesday.

The Reform Party board also approved the negotiating team, which includes Timo Suslov, Mart Võrklaev, Erkki Keldo and Gerrit Mäesalu.

Kallas also reaffirmed what she said on Sunday, that the party should receive more ministerial seats than its coalition partners based on the election results.

A coalition needs at least 51 mandates, or seats, for a majority in the 101-seat Riigikogu.

Ratas: Kallas and I discussed several areas of Estonian life

Center Party Chairman Jüri Ratas said he and Kallas had a telephone conversation on Monday.

"I congratulated Kaja Kallas and the Reform Party on their election victory, wished them strength, and we consulted a bit on certain topics of Estonian life," he said.

He said this was a "general discussion" not a starting point for coalition negotiations.

Reform and Center would have 53 seats if they formed a government.

Eesti 200 Chairman Lauri Hussar told "Aktuaalne kamaera" he is waiting for Kallas' call.

"I assure you that the Eesti 200 is ready to answer these questions and we are ready to show that Eesti 200 can implement both its program and its long-term plan," said Hussar. The party won 14 seats in the Riigikogu election.

SDE Chairman Lauri Läänemets said the party is also willing to work enter into a coalition with Reform if they can reach an agreement on important issues. These include wages, green energy, and the environment.

"If these issues seem acceptable to potential coalition partners, I think we are ready to start these negotiations," said Läänemets.

Reform is currently in a coalition with SDE and Isamaa.


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Editor: Mirjam Mäekivi, Kristina Kersa

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