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Ratas: Will Kaja Kallas bring back Reform's back room?

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center).
Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center). Source: (Siim Lõvi/ERR)

Prime Minister and Center Party Chairman Jüri Ratas is seeing signs that Kaja Kallas' election as Reform Party chair will once again strengthen the position of Kristen Michal and the party's so-called back room within the party.

"The question for me is whether [Kaja Kallas] will bring back the Reform Party's back room, which Hanno Pevkur stood up against and managed to get rid of," Ratas said in an interview with ERR. "Right now it seems like the Kaja Kallas-Kristen Michal tandem is strong indeed. Although true, the Reform Party's back room was strong durinch Michal's time as well."

Ratas nonetheless praised outgoing opposition party chairman Hanno Pevkur's work, and considered what the actual reason may have been behind his leaving the party's top spot.

"Prior to the chairperson elections, [Pevkur] said in the media that he wanted to make the Reform Party more democratic, and to get rid of the back room," the prime minister recalled. "He said in October 2017 that ethnic-based opposition must become a thing of the past, and just a few weeks later Reform politicians said, 'Now we need a new chairman.' In all seriousness, I believe that Hanno Pevkur has done good work, albeit in a competing party."

Ratas also suggested that one of the six current parliamentary parties will likely be absent from the Riigikogu to be elected a year from now.

"There will be fewer than six parties," he predicted. "I don't know which. Politicians must also sometimes say that they don't know. I don't know which of the current six will be absent."

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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