PM Kaja Kallas: Reform Party not looking for new prime minister

Prime Minister Kaja Kallas talking to the media from the Riigikogu, Monday, August 28, 2023.
Prime Minister Kaja Kallas talking to the media from the Riigikogu, Monday, August 28, 2023. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) said that the Reform Party has many strong politicians who could become prime minister in the future, but for now she will not resign and the party is not seeking a new prime minister.

Kallas said that the Reform Party had not discussed who would succeed her as prime minister if she resigned, as she has repeatedly stated that she will not step down.

"My party currently endorses me as the prime minister. But we also have a lengthy reserve. We have a lot of powerful players; you can see them among the ministers, the members of parliament, and the leaders of local governments. So those who would carry the load, fortunately, are many," she said.

"If the Reform Party does change leadership, whether next year or now, for whatever reason, I believe the key contenders will be the ones we have seen before: Kristen Michal, Hanno Pevkur and, probably, Urmas Klaas," political scientist Tõnis Saarts said.

Kristen Michal is the contender for prime minister most frequently mentioned in the media. Minister of the Environment Michal said that he would endorse Kaja Kallas for prime minister. "Excuse me, but I believe that my position as climate minister of the Republic of Estonia in the administration of Kaja Kallas is more exciting than any other job," he said.

Michal also said that the Reform Party had not discussed a potential candidate for prime minister.

Saarts said that a change of prime minister could happen in the spring, following the elections for the European Parliament. "If the prime minister were to be replaced, Kaja Kallas would presumably move to a prominent position in the European Commission, and the Reform Party would undergo a well-planned leadership transition. However, given that the scandal is still ongoing, we cannot rule out the possibility of unexpected developments," he said.

Saarts said that the prime minister's continuation cannot be ruled out either.

The previous scandal involved financing for the Reform Party in 2012, when Andrus Ansip was prime minister and did not resign. The Reform Party won the 2015 state elections despite the scandal.


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Editor: Marko Tooming, Kristina Kersa

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