Korobeinik: Kaja Kallas will likely resign 'sooner or later'

Andrei Korobeinik.
Andrei Korobeinik. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

A resignation from Prime Minister Kaja Kallas in the wake of revelations her husband held a significant stake in a firm which has been provided logistics services in exporting Estonian-made products to the Russian Federation would be beneficial for her party, a Center Party MP says.

In any case, a resignation "sooner or later" is inevitable from Kallas, the MP, Anton Korobeinik, added.

Korobeinik was previously (2011-2018) a Reform Party member.

Speaking to ETV news show "Aktuaalne kaamera" (AK) Sunday, Korobeinik said: "There is a high probability that, sooner or later we will surely see the prime minister resigning from her position. And if she does so after several months, or after a few months, then this will certainly damage the Reform Party's rating."

Reform consistently tops the ratings of all political parties in Estonia as conducted by the major polling companies.

At the same time, this will not be a permanent state of affairs, he said – the party would be able to restore its ratings by the 2025 local elections (local elections tend to see parties have primacy over individual candidates, whereas for the European elections – the next of these is in June 2024 – the situation is the reverse – ed.).

As for the Reform Party's next leader and consequently, as things stand the next prime minister, Korobeinik tipped Kristen Michal at a "90 percent probability," though likely only after an internal struggle with other strong candidates.

A prime minister coming from another party in the near future "would unfortunately be very difficult to attain," Korobeinik added.

Pevkur: Would not be expedient for Kallas to step down now

Meanwhile another leading Reformist, Defense Minister Hanno Pevkur, told AK that he did not think Kallas need resign, as she had openly shared the information she had with her party-mates, and in any case such a move would not be expedient.

In any case the decision is for the prime minister alone, not for the party, he added.

Hanno Pevkur. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

"Resignation is not something where you point your finger at someone and say that it is necessary to take this step now," he said, adding that this applied to people in most positions.

Since the 2024 state budget process will soon be underway – the government is due to pass the state budget bill to the Riigikogu next month – this would be hampered by a prime ministerial resignation, Pevkur added.

Kallas remains a key figure in the global coalition which supports Ukraine, Pevkur added – citing an adviser to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, whom Pevkur stated had said as much.

"On the other hand, of course, Kaja's views have not changed in any way, either with regard to Russia generally or to holding Russia accountable," the defense minister, who himself was Reform Party chair January 2017 to April 2018, went on.

Kaja Kallas said Monday that she would not be appearing before a joint session of the Riigikogu's anti-corruption and state budget control committees Tuesday morning, on the grounds that these committees are not directly pertinent to the case, and that she had been, and will continue, to answer questions on the issues surrounding her husband's business interests, across several different arenas, including appearing at Riigikogu question time.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

Source: 'Aktuaalne kaamera", reported Anne Raise.

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