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Abroad Yesterday, 19:48, the government resigns in Estonia; the work of the new parliamentary term has started

Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas announced on Monday the resignation of the current government after the start of the work of the new parliamentary term.

Kaja Kallas, Prime Minister of Estonia.
Kaja Kallas, Prime Minister of Estonia. Photo: Paula Churkste/LETA

Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas announced on Monday the resignation of the current government after the start of the work of the new parliamentary term.

Kallas announced that according to the constitution, the current government formed by the Reform Party, the Social Democrats and the national conservative party “Tēvzeme” is resigning.

The resigned government will continue to perform its duties until the new government takes office.

Kallas met with President Alar Karis, who offered her to form the new government as the chairman of the party that won the elections.

According to the president, the month-long coalition talks demonstrated the common will of the three political parties to govern together. “This was confirmed to me by all the parties I spoke with. These three parties have a strong majority in the parliament – 60 votes. That’s why I don’t need two weeks to make a decision. In addition, I believe that the new government should get to work as soon as possible, because there is still work to be done there’s a lot,” Karis said.

“I am appointing Kai Kallas, the chairman of the Reform Party, which won the parliamentary elections, as the candidate for prime minister, and I invite him to present a report to the parliament on the foundations of the formation of the future government. I hope that the parliament will grant Kai Kallas the authority to form the government,” Karis said.

On Tuesday, the President will meet with the ministerial candidates nominated by the Reform Party, “Estonia 200” and the Social Democrats. “After these meetings I will hopefully be able to appoint a new government with a calm heart,” Karis added.

The new ruling coalition of Estonia, formed by the Reform Party, the party “Estonia 200” and the Social Democratic Party, signed the coalition agreement on Monday.

The coalition agreement has already drawn criticism because it includes measures that were not announced during the election, such as significant tax increases. The coalition agreement provides for an increase in value added tax (VAT) by two percentage points from the current basic 20% in 2024. In 2025, the personal and corporate income tax will be increased by two percentage points to 22%, but from July 1, 2024, the motor vehicle tax will be introduced as a new tax.

The new government also plans to separate the distribution network company “Elektrilevi” and the oil shale mine from the state energy group “Eesti Energia”.

Other plans include marriage equality, climate policy reforms, closer cooperation with the Baltic and Nordic countries, including support for Ukraine.

Spending on Estonian defense will be 3% of GDP for four years.

The Reform Party will have seven positions in the government.

The leader of the party Kaja Kallas will continue to be the prime minister, the Minister of Defense Hanno Pevkurs and the Minister of Social Protection Signe Rīsalo will also retain their positions.

The Minister of Finance will be MP Marts Verklaevs, the Minister of Culture – MP Heidi Purga, the Minister of Climate – Kristens Michals, who was once the Minister of Economy and Infrastructure, as well as the Minister of Justice, and the Minister of Justice – Kalle Lanets, who was previously the Minister of Defense and the Minister of the Interior .

Chairman of Estonia 200, Lauri Husars, will become the speaker of Rīga Kogi. The party will have three ministerial posts. The Minister of Foreign Affairs will be Margus Cahkna, who was once the Minister of Defense and the Minister of Social Protection, the Minister of Education and Science will be the vice-president of the party Kristina Kallas, and the Minister of Economy and Digital Affairs – Tits Rīsalo, who was the head of the office of the previous President of Estonia, Kersti Kaljulaida.

The Social Democratic Party will also have three ministerial positions. The chairman of the party, Lauri Lènemets, will retain the position of the Minister of Internal Affairs, Rīna Sikutas, who is the Minister of Economy and Infrastructure in the previous government, will become the Minister of Health, while the previous Minister of the Environment, Madiss Kallas, will be the Minister of Regional and Rural Affairs.

In the new Estonian parliament, which was elected on March 5, the three parties of the new ruling coalition together have 60 out of a total of 101 mandates. The Reform Party has 37 MPs, “Estonia 200” – 14 MPs and the Social Democrats – nine MPs.

The new convocation of the Estonian Parliament convened for its first session on Monday.

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