Center Party's Riigikogu group to initiate no-confidence motion against PM

Tanel Kiik (Center) and Kaja Kallas (Reform).
Tanel Kiik (Center) and Kaja Kallas (Reform). Source: Jürgen Randma/Government Office

On Monday, the Center Party's Riigikogu group has adopted the decision to initiate a motion of no confidence against Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform). The Center Party will now begin talks regarding the issue with EKRE and Isamaa's Riigikogu groups.

According to Center's Riigikogu chief whip Tanel Kiik, the government is steering the country in the wrong direction and Estonia deserves better.

"The Reform Party, together with its coalition partners, has violated good political practice by implementing decisions that were not even mentioned before the elections. This is an abuse of the trust of the Estonian people," Kiik said.

"Today, the coalition led by the Reform Party wants to force through cuts to family benefits, in a situation where all parties, including the Reform Party, supported an increase in family benefits as recently as last December. On Wednesday, various tax increases will be put to a vote of confidence, yet we still do not have a full picture of the tax rates and their impact. All this is being done in a situation where we have the lowest birth rate ever, with the deepening economic crisis and high inflation having significantly reduced families' abilities to make ends meet," Kiik said.

Kiik added, that the Center Party's Riigikogu group will begin talks with the EKRE and Isamaa groups to jointly initiate the no-confidence motion against the prime minister.

In a speech on Saturday, Urmas Reinsalu, Isamaa's newly-elected party chair, said that the current government is a cynical marketing project, which has trapped the whole of Estonian society.

"I think we must show this honestly and initiate a motion of no confidence against this government in the Riigikogu," Reinsalu said.

EKRE party leader Martin Helme has promised to obstruct the work of the governing coalition in a way that eventually results in the need for emergency elections.

"Obstruct by all means. Obstruct them until they can't take any more. Obstruct them in such a way that they call for extraordinary elections," Helme said on Saturday.

Last Thursday, the government decided to tie amendments to the Family Benefits Act and the new tax package to a vote of confidence in the Riigikogu. Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) also sent a letter to this effect to Riigikogu speaker Lauri Hussar (Eesti 200).

"I called the chairs of the opposition parties to a joint meeting to find amendments that would satisfy all parties, with the aim of ending the obstruction of the draft process and continuing the normal processing of bills in the Riigikogu," Kallas wrote.

"It is regrettable that the opposition did not have the interest, nor will, to find a consensus, which is why the Government of the Republic is forced to tie the adoption of the next bills it has initiated to a vote of confidence before their second reading in the Riigikogu."

Kallas also told a government press conference, that all these bills must enter into force before July 1.


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Editor: Michael Cole

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