One step back, two steps forward

Kahe nädala kestel pidasid võimuliidu moodustamise kõnelusi Isamaa ja Res Publica Liidu juht Urmas Reinsalu (paremalt) Reformierakonna juht Taavi Rõivas, Sotsiaaldemokraatliku Erakonna juht Sven Mikser ning Vabaerakonna juht Andres Herkel. Läinud laupäeval Rõivas Herkelit enam kohtumisele ei kutsunud.

PHOTO: Liis Treimann

The power talks are on again, spurred on and coloured by the new Riigikogu convening next Monday – beginning by electing its Board. And, places at the Board of the Riigikogu have always been part of power agreements.

If successful, the week may result in current speaker Eiki Nestor (SDE) keeping his seat. And, Mr Nestor has nothing against that.

If a definite agreement proves elusive by that time, it will be enough to have agreed about a candidate for speaker and vice speaker. Immediately, this will also turn out the first touchstone.

Electing the Board will be a place for possible political play where the Free and Centre will not want to be left out. Neither will EKRE.

Timetable settled

According to negotiator-in-chief Taavi Rõivas, yesterday the talks centred around lowering labour taxes, especially for the low earners (desired by Reform Party), as well as raising child benefits (SDE) and state/administrative territorial reform (IRL).

Today, work groups gather to talk cutting peripheralization, rural life and agriculture, social and health popicy, labour market and culture/sports. Moving speedily along, Reform now hopes to get the raw agreement on paper and reach agreement.

It is assumed that, having gotten rid of the Free, all are ready for greater compromises. 

This is a task that the Free have indeed accomplished –from now on, Reform must be more accommodating as the appetite in Soc Dems and IRL has not waned.

While in IRL the squirrels smell constructiveness, though not submissiveness, regarding the Soc Dems they have no such assurance – the latter having announced that all will have to begin at the beginning. Perhaps, the Soc Dems are playing the delay game, to get squirrels in time-trouble? Who knows, maybe their leader Sven Mikser has an eye on prime ministerial seat as fruit of crafty combinations, or for reform to replace Taavi Rõivas...

«This is a stupid expectation; this is not going to happen. In Reform, the government will either be compiled by Mr Rõivas who got 15,000 votes or none of us,» Reform stands stiff.

Constructiveness sought

As Soc Dems board convened on Sunday, power coalition with Centre was on the table. In the party, there is a group who thinks this is best: at long last, they could launch into keeping social democratic promises instead of being dragged along by Reform again. Mr Mikser does understand them, but is still inclined towards teaming up with squirrels and thinks the party is better off in coalition than opposition.

Both potential partners appreciate propositions posed by Mr Rõivas as «constructive». «We are not aiming for jovial coexistence, we are aiming at solving Estonia’s problems,» claimed Mr Mikser.

According to IRL chief Urmas Reinsalu, «whether we reach agreement is a matter of the days to come.»