Power talks to drag on for days

Today, representatives of Reform, Soc Dems (SDE) and IRL have another go at getting closer to agreement in three main issues for potential coalition and locate the financial sources to cover costs thereof.

Last night, SDE chairman Sven Mikser said that they touched the difficult issues not, rather talking about language and integration policy. «In these areas, we did manage to move onwards quite constructively. Meanwhile, let’s say, the main issues remain unsolved,» he said, expressing hopes the latter would be tackled today.

Asked what is keeping the main issues from being solved, Mr Mikser said that, should he guess something, he’d assume the prime minister will try to table his own solution. «Considering the abundance of loose ends and the loads of work left on the table, I am quite convinced that during tomorrow (today – K. K.) we will surely not be arriving at the goal yet,» he said.

Though the principles of raising child benefits and of executing administrative reform remain unsettled as well, taxes are the main drag. Also, lots of issues left unsolved at the working groups are yet to be decided.

Helir-Valdor Seeder, a member of IRL delegation at the talks, added that agreements have also not been reached regarding monetary sources and ministerial portfolios which traditionally are the final issue to be addressed. According to him, all of this will be talking points for the days ahead. After today’s work is done, the delegations will probably reconvene on Monday.

It was only yesterday that Reform remained a lot more positive regarding the tempo of the talks, as their council head Kristen Michal asked members to stay stand-by for a potential gathering as early as Saturday. A coalition agreement requires green lights by all councils of the parties that participate at talks, before it may be signed.

Neither SDE nor IRL have summonsed their councils as yet. At that, the statutes of both parties prescribe that extraordinary meetings be announced at least three days in advance.

«This week-end we will not be able to convene our council and today (yesterday – K. K.) there was no reason for doing so as yet,» said Mr Seeder, head of the IRL council.

That, in turn, means that party leaders will not be able to sign the coalition agreement on Monday.

On Monday, the new Riigikogu will convene for its initial session, that very day proceeding to elect itself a president and two vice presidents. Usually, coalitions get the president and one vice-president posts – in times past, these have been divided up as part of coalition agreements. Also on that day, the prime minister will announce the stepping down of current government, after which the President will appoint the candidate for forthcoming prime ministerial job.