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Kaja Kallas: UN Migration Compact vote amounts to government failure

Reform Party chairwoman Kaja Kallas.
Reform Party chairwoman Kaja Kallas. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Chairwoman of the opposition Reform Party, Kaja Kallas said on Monday that the Riigikogu's vote on supporting the UN Compact on Migration amounts to a failure of Prime Minister Jüri Ratas' government, as the move was supported by less than half of MPs and the coalition is split on the issue.

The Reform Party made its support of the Riigikogu's declaration conditional last week, saying that they would vote in favour only if an amendment is adopted that would still call for a government decision in the issue, effectively forcing a continuation of the government crisis.

However, the Reform Party's amendment was voted down by a majority of 52 MPs.

"Had our amendment proposals been supported, we would also have expressed support [for the declaration]," Kallas said. "In a situation where the government is attempting to shirk its responsibility by causing a constitutional crisis, we couldn't. The Constitution puts the responsibility on the government to decide on matters like this," she added.

"It would be right to put joining the migration framework to a vote in the government, like Prime Minister Jüri Ratas also promised in the morning. This government is no longer able to make decisions, and today's vote indicates that the Centre Party doesn't have the support of the parliament's majority in important votes," Kallas said.

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre) and Pro Patria's chairman, Helir-Valdor Seeder, both said following Monday's vote that they consider the government crisis to be over, and that they are confident that the coalition of Centre, Social Democrats and Pro Patria will hold until the general election on 3 March next year.

A declaration was adopted by the Riigikogu on Monday in support of the UN Compact on Migration. According to the government, the next step now is to settle who will represent Estonia at the UN's General Assembly vote on the Compact.

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Editor: Dario Cavegn

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