Kallas: If this coalition doesn't happen, EKRE voters will be even angrier
According to Reform Party chairwoman Kaja Kallas, the Centre Party is using the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) in order to gain power. If EKRE changes its political style, its voters will be disappointed, but if it doesn't, then incitement to hatred and lying will become a daily part of the governing of Estonia, she wrote.
"It's apparent that the current assembling of a coalition is splitting society apart," Ms Kallas wrote in her blog. "Isamaa and the Centre Party keep stressing 99,000 voters that would otherwise be left out, but if you look at their rhetoric, they don't seem to care one way or another about EKRE voters; rather, their main wish is to use EKRE to gain power while silencing them. If EKRE leaders become more modest in their rhetoric, that won't solve EKRE voters' concerns."
It isn't just about rhetoric, either, she continued, but also substance and values. "If it actually happens that [EKRE] now suddenly changes, that will make EKRE voters even angrier because EKRE's leaders have cheated them," she wrote. "If it doesn't, however, then incitement to hatred and lying will become a daily part of the everyday activity of Estonian government."
The chairwoman of the 2019 Riigikogu election-winning party wrote that she did not think that everyone thinks the same way she does. "If everyone thought the same way, that would mean that nobody was thinking at all," she continued. "That is the beauty of a free society — that we can have different opinions. But the downfall of democracy begins with the toleration of intolerance. If we normalise hatred and anger — if this becomes part of our everyday life — then we will be weak to cooperate when we really need to."
Centre lied about cooperation with EKRE
Referring to Centre Party chairman Jüri Ratas, Kallas said that lying damages the reputation of the Riigikogu and the government alike. "The worsening of [one's] reputation increases the divide between the electorate and their elected representatives," she highlighted. "But democracy is built on trust."
Ms Kallas stressed that if this coalition ends up happening, not only will Reform voters be disappointed, but Centre and Isamaa voters as well, who voted for them in order to keep hatred and anger out of power, as the Centre Party repeatedly promised before the 3 March elections that it would not cooperate with EKRE.
"If this coalition doesn't happen, EKRE voters that have entertained the justified expectation of [their elected party] making it into the government will be even more angry," she warned. "Yes, the winner of the election has previously been left out of the coalition, but previously this was made clear during the election campaign, and people could take this into account when they made their decision. Currently, the Centre Party promised one thing before the elections, but following the elections, the previously ruled out party was the first to which a phone call and proposal was made for the formation of a government."
Editor: Aili Vahtla