Su, 14.08.2022
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Coalition completed / BNS
Coalition completed
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Reformierakonna, SDE ja IRLi koalitsioonileping sai allkirjad 8. aprillil.
Reformierakonna, SDE ja IRLi koalitsioonileping sai allkirjad 8. aprillil. Photo: Liis Treimann / Postimees

Yesterday, coalition agreement was signed in the white hall of Riigikogu by representatives of Reform, Soc Dems and IRL. Two hours after the event, prime minister candidate Taavi Rõivas (Reform) launched into his speech before parliament about bases for forming the government. Having heard that, with 58 yes-votes the Riigikogu awarded him powers to get with it.

Last night in Kadriorg, President Toomas Hendrik Ilves met ministerial candidates of Reform, SDE and IRL, nominating the new government. This morning, the government entered into office, sworn in before the parliament. This afternoon, it holds its initial session.

Ossinovski enquired attitude of Rõivas towards Michal

In Riigikogu yesterday, before the government got its green light, SDE vice chairman and outgoing education minister Jevgeni Ossinovski questioned Taavi Rõivas regarding reliability of economy and infrastructure minister-to-be Kristen Michal (Reform).

As observed by Mr Ossinovski, an economy/infrastructure minister would be most responsible for good and honest governance of Estonian public assets.  «As we know, troublesome facts emerged concerning said individual a couple of years ago, raising serious question marks over him being fit for this office,» he said.

«Prime minister Andrus Ansip has said he believes Kristen Michal. Hence my question: prime minister candidate Taavi Rõivas, do you believe Kristen Michal?» asked Mr Ossinovski.

Mr Rõivas replied that, in addition to Mr Michal, he believes all members of outgoing and incoming government. He also stated his readiness to ever defend these from attacks public and not public.

For Ligi, the portfolio a bit disappointing  

Confirmed candidate for education minister by Reform board yesterday, Jürgen Ligi admitted he was a bit disappointed in not being able to tackle topics in government he would be good at.

On Tuesday, Estonian Education Personnel Union chief Reemo Voltri said the portfolio going to Reform and Mr Ligi was a surprise. The latter begged to disagree. Even so, Mr Ligi said his expectation was otherwise, adding that the new job begins with learning it and he had studied next to work before.

Though observed by some that Mr Ligi’s appointment served as a snub to current education minister Jevgeni Ossinovski (SDE), the new appointee again agrees not.

«I took my steps, the voter took his decisions. Why drag this topic into the present when Jevgeni clearly gave up the job? His party could not presume that the post would be vacant or filled with someone with scarce baggage,» said Mr Ligi.

Working capacity basic laws to be reviewed

The fresh coalition will review laws regarding work capacity reform ratified by previous Riigikogu.

Priit Sibul, IRL faction head and participant in coalition talks together with the new social protection minister Margus Tsahkna, said yesterday: «Both me and Margus were clearly of the opinion that, in its current form, the work capacity reform laws cannot be implemented; these will need to be opened a bit and reviewed together.» According to him, continued work with the reform is also prescribed by the fresh coalition treaty.

Mr Sibul said opinions regarding the reform differed during the talks. «As always – some think this and others that. It was understood that we were not willing to support [the reform] in the format realised by the former Riigikogu. I understood the coalition partners were ready to review certain things in it,» said the politician.

Together with organisations for the handicapped, IRL – then in opposition – was a leading critic of said reform.

Rõivas: gay act implementation logical

Asked by Priit Toobal (Centre) yesterday at Riigikogu, Taavi Rõivas said implementation of the so-called cohabitation act was the logical path forward.

As observed by Mr Toobal, the coalition agreement has not a line in it regarding the law and wanted to know if implementing provisions were to enter into force during the new government. Mr Rõivas said the bill was not initiated by the government, rather by the parliament. «I hope the debate, deeply splitting the Estonian society, must not arise again,» he said, adding that once the law had been ratified, it is logical for it to be also implemented.

Riigikogu IRL faction head Priit Sibul expressed hopes their deputies would vote as one when the contentious gay law implementation comes up. «I will definitely vote against, I do not support there implementing provisions, as I did not support the law itself,» he said.

According to Kadri Simson, head for the Centre opposition faction, implementing provisions of the cohabitation act may make the newborn coalition quarrel.