Kaja Kallas to run for Reform Party chair again this fall

Prime Minister Kaja Kallas says that the Reform Party board supports her remaining in office as prime minister, and confirmed Friday that she intends to run for reelection as chair at the party's regular elections this fall.

Following the party board's meeting on Friday, Kallas said that because the scandal that has hit her is a matter that affects her personally, she has often been emotional in recent public communication, but that she's now trying to improve her public appearance.

"The main complaint lies largely in the fact that my communication is bad; I am trying to improve this communication and do better," Kallas told ETV's "Aktuaalne kaamera" Friday afternoon.

"Well, you yourselves know very well; you've interviewed me every day," she continued. "One day it's better, the next day it's worse. I'm not an actor, and this is a matter that affects me personally. That's why I'm often emotional, and perhaps expressing my views in such a way that it feels different somehow, but we'll try harder."

According to Kallas, the Reform Party board supports her remaining in office as head of the Estonian government.

"The board supports my continuing as prime minister," she said. "We discussed the situation; I was able to answer questions. Of course this has caused many people a great deal of distress."

She said she doesn't believe that her resignation as prime minister would help resolve the deadlock in the Riigikogu either, where opposition parties are obstructing the work of the parliament.

Kallas noted that as her term as chair of the Reform Party is set to end this fall, she intends to run for re-election as chair of the current senior coalition party.

"Yes, I'll be running," she confirmed.

Scandal broke two weeks ago

Prime Minister and coalition Reform Party chair Kaja Kallas was hit with a scandal that began to unfold when ERR first broke the news on August 23 that a transport company partly owned by her husband Arvo Hallik has continued doing business in Russia even after the latter launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine last February.

Kallas has maintained throughout the scandal that she and Hallik did not talk business at home, and that she had not been up to speed on her husband's business activities until recently.

She has been a fierce advocate at both the national and international levels of supporting Ukraine and cutting business ties with Russia, even urging state-owned businesses to do so.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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