Kallas would consider leaving position of prime minister to Ratas

Kaja Kallas on ETV, 26 March 2019.
Kaja Kallas on ETV, 26 March 2019. Source: ERR

Reform Party chairwoman Kaja Kallas said on Tuesday evening that she would be ready to consider foregoing her own appointment as prime minister if a coalition with the Centre Party should depend on such a step.

Ms Kallas said on ERR's Esimene stuudio political talk show on Tuesday that she has been talking to different people also in the Centre Party who are unhappy about the current preliminary talks between Centre, the Conservative People's Party (EKRE) and Isamaa.

Still, none of them so far has told her that they will vote against such a coalition, Ms Kallas pointed out. She takes the current course of the talks as a sign that all three parties want to keep Reform away from power at any cost.

"I don't know if I'm late to the party, but judging by their statements their wish to keep the Reform Party out of government is very strong," Ms Kallas said. "As I see it, the big question is what this wish is based on."

The Reform Party was in government for 17 years and led varying coalitions for 15 years leading up to 2016 and the fall of Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas' government over a matter of party patronage. That may have been a long time, but this in itself shouldn't be seen as a bad thing, Ms Kallas said.

After Ms Kallas expressed some doubts about the Reform Party's actions immediately after the election on 3 March, presenter Johannes Tralla asked her directly if she would consider giving up her own ambitions for the sake of Jüri Ratas continuing as prime minister.

"I've thought about it. If this is about who is going to be prime minister, then perhaps the ambitions of a single individual are too high a price to pay. But then again I think that if I made such an offer, if I gave up, do you really believe Jüri Ratas would accept?" Ms Kallas asked.

In any case, while the party hasn't discussed this option, she herself would be ready to consider it, Ms Kallas said.

As President Kersti Kaljulaid has said that she will first give the task of forming a new government to her, she isn't planning to make such a step just yet, Ms Kallas added.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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