Raimond Kaljulaid supports granting Kallas authority to form government
MP Raimond Kaljulaid, who recently quit the Centre Party in protest of its inclusion of the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) in coalition negotiations, will vote in favour of granting Kaja Kallas, chairwoman of the 3 March Riigikogu election-winning Reform Party, authority to form the government.
"It's not to say that Jürgen Ligi, Kristen Michal, Andrus Ansip and many other key figures of the Reform Party have suddenly and overnight become very dear to me; it is to demonstrate support for Kaja Kallas, who has remained honest and true to her principles," Mr Kaljulaid wrote in his blog on Monday.
Mr Kaljulaid noted that he has been advised to remain neutral so as not to deter voters who dislike the Reform Party away from him prior to the upcoming European Parliament elections.
"I am certain that my voters are very intelligent people and understand perfectly why I am voting for Kaja Kallas in this case," he said in response.
Ms Kallas ruled out cooperation with EKRE ahead of the general election and stuck by her decision, the independent MP wrote. Centre Party chairman Jüri Ratas had also declared the same, but by now we know that EKRE leaders were contacted by the Centre Party as early as merely a couple of hours after the election results were announced, he continued.
"The decision made by the Ratas-led Centre Party to include the extreme right-wing and populist EKRE in the government is a big mistake, Mr Kaljulaid wrote. "It will damage the Estonian economy and reduce the income of our people. It will decrease our allies' trust in Estonia and polarise society."
Of course, he noted, he personally wishes Jüri Ratas strength and high spirits, but he, too, must accept that the 2019 elections were not a success.
"The Centre Party finished second, losing seats in the Riigikogu compared to the previous elections," Mr Kaljulaid observed. "Kaja Kallas personally garnered more than twice as may votes as Jüri Ratas. The chairman of the Centre Party has usually collected more votes than this time. Grabbing power with the help of right-wing extremists damages people's trust in the functioning of democracy and the Constitution."
The Riigikogu will vote on Reform and the Social Democratic Party's (SDE) coalition proposal on Monday afternoon. Between them, Reform and the SDE only command 44 votes, not enough to earn majority support in the 101-seat Riigikogu even together with an extra vote from Mr Kaljulaid.
Editor: Aili Vahtla