Seeder: Registered Partnership Act stance ruled Isamaa out of coalition

Isamaa's election night party on March 5, 2023.
Isamaa's election night party on March 5, 2023. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

According to Isamaa Chair Helir-Valdor Seeder, his party's opposition to implementing provisions for the Registered Partnership Act ruled them out of joining the new government coalition.

Helir-Valdor Seeder, chair of Isamaa, told ERR's radio news that he was not surprised by Kaja Kallas' (Reform) preference for Eesti 200 and the Social Democratic Party (SDE) as new government coalition partners for the Reform Party.

"When the preliminary results came out on election night, I was 99.9 percent sure that a coalition like this would be formed. The Reform Party looked at which of the possible options was the easiest and most favorable for them."

According to Seeder, in talks on Monday, Kallas expressed interest in whether Isamaa was prepared to change tack on certain issues.

"I'm thinking of the issue of the Registered Partnership Act, regarding which she (Kallas) asked if we were prepared to adopt implementing provisions and reopen the issue in society. My warm and sincere suggestion to her was, that it would not be wise to return to this issue in society at the moment."

According to Seeder, Estonian society has certainly become more liberal over the years, however, tensions surrounding the issue of the Registered Partnership Act still exist.

"At the moment, cohabiting couples can register under the law and notaries will formalize them. However, to reopen the issue and the wound is not sensible. This was one of the key points or indicators which meant the Reform Party decided to go the way of the SDE and Eesti 200," Seeder said.

"They have, after all, declared that, in addition to the Registered Partnership Act, they also want to make provisions for marriage equality. This was one of the important considerations for Kaja Kallas and the Reform Party when deciding with whom to form a coalition," he added.

Seeder doubtful new coalition will last four years.

Seeder said he had two phone conversations with Kallas on Monday, during which he got the feeling that a coalition involving Eesti 200 and SDE had already been agreed.

"The prime minister made formal calls on Monday, because the three parties had discussed things thoroughly amongst themselves before the Reform Party made its decisions public," Seeder said.

Although Kaja Kallas has said she wants to make the new government last four years, Seeder said it was hard to believe it will do so.

"Especially in a situation where one party has such a large number of seats in parliament. Any alternatives to the current government will also be Reform Party-centric, which is why I think there is a good chance that the coalition will change within four years," Seeder said.

The Isamaa leader added, that while the new ruling coalition refers to itself as liberal, he does not entirely agree with this assessment.

"On the one hand, it is, but if we look at Eesti 200's economic policy and particularly that of SDE, what they have said about taxes cannot be called liberal," he said.

Reform leader Kaja Kallas announced on Tuesday, that her party had decided to make a proposal to enter into coalition talks with Eesti 200 and the Social Democratic Party (SDE). Between them, the three parties won a total of 60 seats in the 101-member Riigikogu.


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Editor: Michael Cole

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