Vote of no-confidence against Ratas fails

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre) survive a vote of no-confidence on Friday.
Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre) survive a vote of no-confidence on Friday. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

A vote of no-confidence against Prime Minister Jüri Ratas on Friday afternoon did not gather enough support to pass.

Ratas (Centre) continues as prime minister.

The vote, brought to the Riigikogu in an extraordinary sitting by the opposition Reform Party, received only 40 votes in support and 55 against.

It was long thought that the vote would fail as the opposition do not have enough votes between themselves to make a majority. The support of at least 51 members of the Riigikogu was needed to express no-confidence.

Seven members of Reform and the Social Democrats, both opposition parties, did not attend the vote. From Reform absent members were Johannes Kert, Eerik-Niiles Kross, and Valdo Randpere. Social Democrat members were Kalvi Kõva, Lauri Läänemets, Ivari Padar, and Katri Raik.

In a TV interview on Friday morning Reform Party leader Kaja Kallas laid out her objections to the current government. The opposition leader cited its moving from scandal to scandal, ministers who insult people from their position of power, the damaging of Estonia's reputation, and throwing Estonia's budget out of balance.

Speaking before the vote Kallas said: "We all know that the original source of the problems of this Government is the Estonian Conservative People's Party, but what makes us worry is that the word of the Prime Minister does not count in this Government and the position of the Conservative Party always prevails. Since the Government took office, the Prime Minister has said already 14 times that the behaviour of the Ministers of the Government was unacceptable, improper and must not be repeated. But still we see that the reproachable behaviour is repeated," Kallas said.

"If there were single cases of breaches or misconduct, resigning of a specific minister could be requested. As these incidents repeat practically from week to week, it can take place only with the approval of the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister who allows the breaking up of Estonia is responsible for it even when it does not happen as a result of his active deeds but his passive onlooking," Kallas added.

Speaking in the Riiigikogu before the vote Ratas denied allegations that Estonia did not have a functioning government, giving examples of the work decisions that had been passed since the coalition formed.

"I understand that this coalition does not seem easy for many. I can assure you that we have had many difficult moments between the coalition partners," Ratas admitted.

"It certainly is not easy to come from the opposition with little experience to the government. At the same time, I can feel every day that there is enough will between the partners to cooperate and find common ground. It strengthens my faith that dignified words and serious actions will stand out more than mistakes and miscalculations."

The vote of no-confidence was put forward after Minister of the Interior Mart Helme (EKRE) and Minister of Finance Martin Helme (EKRE) attempted to dismiss Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) Director General Elmar Vaher earlier this month.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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