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Party leaders fail to reach solution to solve Riigikogu deadlock

Political party leaders failed to reach a solution or consensus about how to move forward with the riigikogu's political deadlock on Wednesday.

Representatives from the coalition – Reform, SDE, and Eesti 200 – and the opposition, EKRE, Center, and Isamaa discussed the situation on Wednesday.

Chairman of the Social Democratic Party Lauri Läänemets said everyone sitting around the table wanted to negotiate but the opposition parties all have different goals.

"Some talk about resignation, someone else about a draft, and a third about things to come. Our message was to try to agree amongst yourselves what you really want, then it will be much easier to find that solution," said Läänemets.

He said the situation has changed as the opposition parties used to have a common approach: "This time, there was more distance among the opposition."

Center did not want to challenge previous decisions, preferring to focus on the future, EKRE wanted to talk about the past, and Isamaa about its agenda, Läänemets said.

"EKRE's message was that they are not going to make a single step to the left or to the right or backward or forward for three years. They have basically written themselves out of the debate. No matter what is put to them, they will not go along with it," the chairman said.

At the meeting, Isamaa chairman Urmas Reinsalu repeated the party's previous position that Prime Minister Kaja Kallas' resignation would help resolve the situation.

"This was taken note of by the other party leaders, all ideas and proposals were left on the table," Reinsalu said.

He also believes it would help if the coalition parties voted in favor of the creation of a commission to investigate the scandal surrounding Kallas' husband's business.

"Everyone took note of my proposal for an inquiry committee as a good positive signal for further dialogue," said Reinsalu.

He said the parties could also try to reach an agreement on how to get the economy out of recession. "There was a willingness to actually discuss it, nobody blocked it," he added.

The Isamaa chairman said the party leaders signaled they were willing to meet again, but a date was not agreed upon.

The deadlock started in the spring after the new coalition agreed to reduce family benefits payments. The opposition parties tried to block the move by submitting hundreds of amendments to stall the Riigikogu from processing the changes. In the end, the government passed the legislation by tying them to votes of no confidence.

EKRE has promised to continue the action.

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Editor: Barbara Oja, Merili Nael, Helen Wright

Source: Interview by Kadri Põlendik

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