Kallas: Reform to approach Isamaa, Social Democrats next ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Reform chairwoman Kaja Kallas addressing the press following Centre's rejection of the winning party's invitation to launch coalition talks. 8 March 2019.
Reform chairwoman Kaja Kallas addressing the press following Centre's rejection of the winning party's invitation to launch coalition talks. 8 March 2019. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

Following the rejection of the Centre Party, the first runner-up in the 2019 Riigikogu election, of the election-winning Reform Party's invitation to launch coalition talks, the board of the Reform Party decided on Friday to approach the Social Democratic Party (SDE) and Isamaa next.

"The board of our party decided to propose launching coalition talks with the Social Democrats and Isamaa," Ms Kallas said, addressing the press following the Reform Party board meeting on Friday afternoon. "Just as I told [Centre chairman] Jüri Ratas, this cooperation would be on equal terms between equal partners, and it is our good will to form a functioning government for Estonia that could solve the challenges facing Estonia and offer people a better future."

The SDE is ready to begin talks, she said, but the party has yet to get ahold of Isamaa. According to the latest information, the boards of both Isamaa and the SDE are scheduled to convene next on Monday, but Reform is prepared to meet with them as soon as this weekend.

Kallas: Centre's explanation an excuse

Ms Kallas reiterated that Reform's prior invitation to the Centre Party had been a sincere one.

"First of all, I would like to say that when we watched the press conference and public comments given by members of the Centre Party, it seemed as though Jüri Ratas maybe hasn't reflected the talks between us very adequately," she said. "Apparently there's some reason for that."

Commenting to ERR on Centre's decision and announcement earlier in the day, the Reform chairwoman said that Centre's response and grounds for it were strange, as the latter ruled out seeking common ground with the former even befor e coalition talks could begin.

"We wanted to look for common ground; they wanted to look for differences," she said. "The fact that the primary campaign promise of the election-winning party is ruled out before negotiations begin demonstrates that the Centre Party doesn't acknowledge the results of the election and are continuing to campaign. But voters have made their position clear. So it seems to me as though that was an excuse."

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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