Reform Party chairman: Coalition has no chance to succeed

Kaja Kallas (left) accused Pevkur (right) in January this year of trying to move her from the Reform Party's Harju district list to a less popular one.
Kaja Kallas (left) accused Pevkur (right) in January this year of trying to move her from the Reform Party's Harju district list to a less popular one. Source: (Siim Lõvi/ERR)

The coalition of Center Party, Social Democrats, and IRL was doomed from the start because it was based on a "secret deal" to oust the Reform Party, not a realization of the people's will, chairman of the opposition Reform Party Hanno Pevkur said commenting the January party ratings.

"Support numbers show a clear affirmation by the people that the time of the experimental government headed by the Center Party is up. Let's be honest: a government that was not a realization of the people's will expressed through democratic elections, but an agreement made in secrecy, had no chance of being successful," Pevkur said in a press release.

With his statement, Pevkur continues the course his party took after the Riigikogu voted them out of power in 2016, namely the interpretation that at 30 of 101 mandates, three ahead of the currently ruling Center Party, it is the wish of the Estonian people that any national government should be led by them.

According to Pevkur, even if people might have felt a slight positive anticipation when the new government was set up, people have now come to realize what the new government really is and are showing it.

"As people we all want to be successful, not equally poor, and this is what the Reform Party stands for," he said. According to Pevkur, the Reform Party is ready to face parliamentary elections and its first promise is to bring back a clear and simple tax system which "does not punish people, but instead motivates them to press forward."

Explanations for the currently low approval of the government range from internal tensions to recent tax changes and the fact that Justice Minister Urmas Reinsalu (IRL) didn't step down when the opposition demanded it.

The Reform Party is looking at internal elections this spring after Pevkur faced broad internal opposition as chairman late last year. Earlier this month Pevkur's challenger and by now personal choice for party leader, Kaja Kallas (Reform/ALDE), accused him of trying to undermine her campaign for the 2019 parliamentary elections by trying to assign her to a less prominent party list.

Support for the Reform Party rose to the highest level in five years, 34.2 percent, while support for the prime minister's Center Party and the whole government coalition declined considerably, it appears from a fresh survey taken by Kantar Emor for BNS and Postimees in January.

The total support of the three government coalition parties, the Center Party, the Social Democrats (SDE), and the Pro Patria and Res Publica Union (IRL), was 36 percent. The last time a government coalition's support was this small was in the summer of 2013, when the Reform Party was in power.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

Source: ERR, BNS

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