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Leading coalition politicians deny prime minister resignation suggestions

President Alar Karis speaking at Wednesday's press conference, after meeting with leading members of all six Riigikogu parties.
President Alar Karis speaking at Wednesday's press conference, after meeting with leading members of all six Riigikogu parties. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Leading coalition ministers and MPs have rejected President Alar Karis' statement that one of their number had at a meeting with him this week implied that the current deadlock at the Riigikogu could be broken by Kaja Kallas stepping down as prime minister.

The head of state held meetings at Kadriorg on Tuesday and Wednesday this week, in an effort to break the stalemate at the Riigikogu which has seen the opposition Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) filibuster coalition bills, and the Reform-Eesti 200-SDE coalition in turn tie the passage of many bills to votes of confidence in the government itself, meaning the content of those bills does not get debated fully.

Opposition party Isamaa has also presented a motion of no-confidence in the prime minister.

The three opposition parties sent their leaders to the Kadriorg meetings, the coalition parties sent their Riigikogu chief whips.

ERR journalist Madis Hindre attended Thursday's government press conference and asked which party leader had implied that Kallas' resignation would solve the current impasse.

The prime minister herself, Kaja Kallas, was not present at this week's meetings, and said that the chairs of the other two coalition parties, Eesti 200 and the Social Democrats, assured her that the message had not been from their parties.

"This morning I sat with the chairs of the coalition parties who confirmed that they had asked those who went to meet the president., and that there had been no such message," the prime minister said.

The Eesti 200 and SDE leaders were not present at the Kadriorg meetings either, and had delegated to leading MPs in each case.

SDE chair Lauri Läänemet said "I have not visited with the president, so I had no such opportunity. I certainly did not say that, and I really don't believe that anyone else requested it."

SDE was represented by its Riigikogu chief whip Jevgeni Ossinovski.

Eesti 200 ledaer Kristina Kallas said: "Well I don't think it came from here. The president has to specify that himself, does he not?"

Eesti 200 Riigikogu whip Toomas Uibo represented his party at the president's meeting.

President Alar Karis met with representatives of all six parliamentary parties on Tuesday and Wednesday this week

At a subsequent press conference Wednesday, the head of state said: "There were political parties who felt that the two should be kept separate: one is the pressure that the opposition, in particular, is putting on the prime minister, perhaps to resign, and the other is what is happening in parliament. But there were also party leaders, and not only in the opposition, who thought that the resignation of the prime minister could be one of the solutions to move forward from here."

In addition to Uibo and Ossinvoski, in attendance from the parties was Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa leader), Mihhail Kõlvart (Center leader) Martin Helme (EKRE leader) and MP Erkki Keldo (Reform's Riigikogu whip),

The president also last week met with Lauri Hussar (Eesti 200), Riigikogu speaker.

ERR has asked the president's office specify which coalition party representative suggested the prime minister's resignation might solve the ongoing deadlock at the Riigikogu, which has essentially been in place since early summer, but has received no answer on that point as of the time of writing.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte, Urmet Kook

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