Urmas Paet, enjoying the most-popular-minister title almost as long as Andrus Ansip has stayed in Stenbock House (since spring of 2005 – edit), has in the official hierarchy been Nr 2 after Prime Minister; in domestic policy and within the party, he has lied low. For this, he has also been criticised. Maybe, the self preservation proved fatal to Mr Paet, weighed on the balance vs Mr Kallas.
This year, at the beginning of January, while Siim Kallas was in Estonia, a wider circle within the party learned that the mad was destined to become painter of the new and European-fresh face of Reform Party.
«Bringing him back and making him credible took a lot of effort, as the younger generation coming up in the party only new Mr Kallas, away in Brussels for ten years, by name and face only,» reasoned a squirrel-party cadre.
Still, the talk of Siim Kallas returning was not too widespread within Reform Party. Mr Ansip reckoned that the switch would be performed in the fall of 2014 only, when Mr Kallas’ time is up as EU commissioner and he – Mr Ansip – heads there to take his place in Brussels.
Then, Mr Kallas sung his first public solo: while Mr Ansip was in Sochi enjoying opening ceremony of the Olympics, Mr Kallas, on February 7th, sent party comrades, party board and its Riigikogu faction a letter, informing them of his willingness to be Prime Minister of Estonia, should Mr Ansip decide to step back before the 2015 elections.
At the bottom of the letter, Mr Kallas wrote it was meant for addresses only, not for public at large to discuss. Penned by a politician, the phrase means the opposite: please leak it to media. As also happened, a couple of days later.
The Kallas Letter ended with an ambiguous figure of speech: «All who are ready to row are welcome in my boat!» That was a signal that his ambition was bigger than just a cosmetic switch on prime ministerial seat. IRL, coalition partner of squirrels, got nervous right away.
Now, Mr Ansip was cornered: as his next step, the public awaited abdication. And, indeed, he had announced two years before: being tired, he’d not be forming the next government anymore.
While the Reform Party/ IRL government exceedingly sounded like a bad marriage, one might have guessed they’d stay together till the kids grow up i.e. 2015 elections. True, in wake of local elections, IRL – so far for years No 4 in polls - had spurted ahead of Reform Party for a moment, thereafter sharing third and fourth place with the partner.