Tiina Kangro, who was not a member of the Pro Patria party but belonged to the party's parliamentary group, has quit the latter, leaving the ruling government coalition with just 50 seats in the 101-seat Riigikogu.
"I contributed to Estonian politics today by leaving the Pro Patria parliamentary group, whose member I have been as an independent," Kangro announced on social media. "With this, a situation arose on Toompea Hill in which the coalition no longer has a comfortably guaranteed majority, and in the time left until the next elections, they will presumably have to cooperate much more with the other parties of the Riigikogu, possibly even change some of their plans. This comes at a time when the state budget is in the works, as are a number of conflicting bills. In Estonia's steamrolled political landscape, there has been a great absence for years already of reasonable cooperation between political forces representing various voter groups, regardless of which of the large [parties] is currently in power."
Kangro also added that she believed that the current coalition will last, as its smallest party, the Pro Patria Party, has expressed its interest in helping it last in any event.
"From the beginning I have been convinced that Pro Patria's place is not in a coalition where its central role is to help the Centre Party and the Social Democrats implement policies according to their worldview at the cost of our own worldview," she continued. "Compromises based on being in power have led to a situation in which our worldview, in which at least the upper echelons of our party in the Riigikogu could unanimously believe, can only be sought in documents dating back years. Even with five responsible minister positions this coalition's conservative party hasn't been capable of changing or at least balancing out the current government's left-wing populists, and their selfish trends, which are a source of anguish for very many Estonian people."
Parliamentary group busy serving bigger coalition partners
The MP was critical of the fact that despite Pro Patria having control over the portfolios of the Ministers of Social Affairs and Finance, among others, not one issue that had been included in the party's election platform has yet been taken seriously or even attempted to be implemented.
"During the past two years that I have been in the Riigikogu, I alone in this parliamentary group (with a couple of individual exceptions) have worked toward and voted in the interests of persons with disabilities and carers and against rampant bureaucracy," she wrote. "What's been more important for my fellow parliamentary group members than that has been serving our coalition partners and in connection with that, retaining their seats and jobs."
Kangro admitted that based on her previous work and life experience, she did not head into the Riigikogu naively or expect miracles to happen, but the fact that comfort, retaining one's position in the food chain and the related cronyism at any cost is such a priority over everything else for Estonian politicians has nonetheless been painfulto watch. "The last of these is no longer exclusive to Pro Patria, but rather the entire bigger picture, from window to door and from Tallinn to Narva," she added.
Kangro's departure from the Pro Patria parliamentary groups means that the ruling government coalition has just 50 seats left in the 101-seat Riigikogu. At the same time, ex-SDE MP Urve Palo has promised to support the coalition in key votes, such as the state budget.
In the most recent Riigikogu elections, Kangro ran on the list of the Pro Patria and Res Publica Union (IRL) in Harja and Rapla Counties, earning 1,669 votes, and became MP as Juhan Parts' alternate. She is not a member of the Pro Patria Party.
Kangro joining the so-called "window seats" in the Session Hall of the Riigikogu brings the number of independent MPs currently in the Riigikogu to seven. Other MPs that currently do not belong to a parliamentary group include Peeter Ernits, Urve Palo, Marko Mihkelson, Margus Tsahkna, Olga Ivanova and Artur Talvik.
Editor: Aili Vahtla