Kristina Kallas: We want minister candidates questioned by Riigikogu
It's important to Eesti 200 to strengthen the role of the Riigikogu in the state reform process, as one crisis following another has shown that when it comes to governing the country, too much control is in the hands of the government, Eesti 200 deputy chair Kristina Kallas said Tuesday.
The Riigikogu's role must be strengthened and its decision-making capacity increased via state reform, Kallas said.
She also said that members of the next government should be made to demonstrate their competency via questioning before the Riigikogu to ensuI that no one is appointed minister that neither the Riigikogu nor the public know anything about.
It makes no difference, Kallas added, whether a minister has received a mandate in the Riigikogu elections or has been brought in from the outside, so to speak.
The government having too strong a leading role in decision-making during a crisis has previously been criticized by Chancellor of Justice Ülle Madise as well. Various politicians have likewise drawn attention to the fact that the Riigikogu has a limited role in drawing up the state budget, being limited to proposing some amendments and approving the budget.
Commenting on the coalition talks slated to begin Wednesday, Eesti 200 chair Lauri Hussar said that based on his conversation with Reform Party leader Kaja Kallas, at least, he got the impression that the two party's positions are very similar.
"We found common ground on a lot of the questions asked by Kaja Kallas," Hussar said. "There were hardly any major disagreements."
According to Kristina Kallas, what would be unacceptable to Eesti 200 would be if it turned out in the course of talks that the other two parties wanted to postpone major reforms.
"If it turns out that this coalition isn't prepared to get big things done," the party's deputy chair explained. "For us, that calls into question whether we want to form a coalition only involved in correcting mistakes and fine-tuning things."
Hussar noted that they will have a clearer idea of what they would actually be dealing with on Wednesday, once they start discussing finance-related matters as coalition talks begin.
Prime Minister and Reform Party chair Kaja Kallas said in an appearance on Vikerraadio's "Stuudios on peaminister" Tuesday that worse than hoped for economic indicators won't yet require the passing of a negative supplementary budget this year, however every minister in the new Estonian government will have to take certain cuts in their area into account when drawing up next year's budget.
After winning the 2023 Riigikogu elections by a significant margin on Sunday night, Reform decided at a party board meeting Tuesday morning to invite Eesti 200 and the SDE to initiate coalition talks, Kallas announced at a press conference on Tuesday morning.
According to valimised.ee, Reform won 37 seats, Eesti 200 14 seats, the SDE 9 seats and Isamaa 8 seats in the Riigikogu elections that concluded Sunday night.
A Reform-Eesti 200-SDE coalition would command a combined 60 seats in the 101-seat Riigikogu.
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Editor: Aili Vahtla