Riigikogu to convene next Friday for no-confidence vote against Ratas

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre).
Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre). Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

The opposition Reform Party has decided to request that the Board of the Riigikogu convene the Riigikogu for an extraordinary sitting next Friday, Aug. 30, for a no-confidence vote against Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre). The opposition alone, however, does not have enough votes to dismiss the prime minister.

Reform had initially hoped to convene the Riigikogu on Monday, but this date did not work for all MPs.

"We wrote a statement for the no-confidence motion against the prime minister in favor of which all Reform Party and Social Democratic Party (SDE) MPs and [independent, ex-Centre MP] Raimond Kaljulaid have promised to vote," Reform Party parliamentary group chairwoman Kaja Kallas said on Friday.

"We must regretfully profess that as prime minister, Jüri Ratas has been incapable of ensuring the dignified governance of Estonia," the text of the motion reads. "Jüri Ratas has been incapable of forming a government that would work toward moving Estonia forward. Instead, Estonia has a government that has, since taking office, attacked various societal groups and destroyed its society's cohesion. We have a government that is damaging Estonia's international reputation, and whose incompetent ministers overstep the bounds of their authority and for whom the rule of law means nothing at all. We have a government who, despite economic growth, have been spending and continue to spend at the future's expense."  

The Riigikogu can express no confidence in the government, the prime minister or a minister with a decision in favor of which a majority, or at least 51 MPs, votes.

A motion of no confidence can be initiated by one fifth of the Riigikogu, or at least 21 MPs. Should a no-confidence vote against the government or prime minister pass, the entire government resigns.

In absence of a quorum at a general sitting of the Riigikogu, at least 51 MPs must be present at an extended sitting and at an extraordinary sitting. 

While a general sitting of the Riigikogu lacks a quorum, or minimum required number of participating MPs, a quorum of 51 MPs is required for an additional or extraordinary sitting, in the absence of which it cannot vote.

MPs of the coalition Centre Party, Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) and Isamaa plan to participate in next Friday's sitting, however more exact plans will be agreed upon next week. Prior to the no-confidence vote, Ratas must first respond to MPs' questions at the Riigikogu.

The opposition Reform Party has 34 seats in the 101-seat Riigikogu; the SDE has 10.

The coalition, meanwhile, has a total of 56 votes: 25 in the Centre Party, 19 in EKRE and 12 in Isamaa.

Raimond Kaljulaid is currently the only independent MP in the Riigikogu.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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