Reform-Centre coalition still best option, says former Reform member

Neinar Seli, formerly of the Reform Party.
Neinar Seli, formerly of the Reform Party. Source: SiimSiim Lõvi/ERR

A Reform Party and Centre Party coalition would be the most sensible option to arise from the March general election, and in fact should have been done following the previous election in 2015, says former Reform member Neinar Seli.

Speaking to daily Eesti Päevaleht (EPL), Mr Seli said that ''the two parties should have been in coalition from 2015. This didn't happen, the problem being that we were talking to a party with 14 seats [ie. IRL, now called Isamaa/Pro Patria-ed.].

' We also recall how Reform's dealings in placing IRL first in opposition by going into coalition with SDE, with IRL later coming back into the coalition, allowed the latter to take all,'' he said.

Three weeks after the 2015 election, Reform, with Taavi Rõivas as prime minister (30 seats at the time) entered into a coaltion government with IRL (14 seats) and SDE (15 seats). In November 2016 following a vote of no confidence in Taavi Rõivas' prime ministership, Reform went into opposition and Centre came in as the new majority coalition party, bringing Jüri Ratas as new prime minister with it.

A Reform-Centre ''super coalition'' (not a term Mr Seli used himself) would be the most pragmatic option this time around as well, Mr Seli said.

Neinar Seli was a Reform Party member for over 20 years, from 1994 to 2015.

For his part, former prime minister Taavi Rõivas was critical of Mr Seli's position, in a tweet posted on the morning of 22 January, referring in his view to a lack of progress in plans to expand the Tallinn-Tartu highway and other roads.

''Ironically, the Reform/SDE/IRL coalition was the one that decided to build a four-way highway to Tartu and allocated €170 million to the Kose-Mäo section [of road]''.

''Mr Seli's favourite party, Keskerakond, has on the other hand put the brakes on this; the Mäo-Tartu, Aaspere-Narva and Ääsmäe-Pärnu sections of road expansion have been put aside,'' Mr Rõivas added, referring to stretches of highway going from the capital to Narva, in an easterly direction, and Pärnu, to the southwest.

Editor: Andrew Whyte

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