A situation where two out of three chairmen of ruling parties prefer to sit in the parliament so as not to be held responsible for the government’s work is unprecedented, says communication expert and editor of the poliitika.guru portal Andreas Kaju.
Jevgeni Ossinovski will be joining IRL Chairman Helir-Valdor Seeder in the Riigikogu.
“It is not sensible. To have some fellows sit in the Riigikogu pondering their personal campaigns in a crisis the government is responsible for. It is not normal,” Kaju said.
“It is not just Ossinovski’s problem; there’s also Seeder who knowingly avoided being part of the government. Seeder found himself in a coalition that pursues policy he finds unacceptable after he took over the party from Tsahkna. From the party’s perspective, Ossinovski’s move is the right one as the party does need attention to come to power,” Kaju said, but added that such moves also have a dark side.
“The government needs to function in high-pressure situations, and for that it would need to include party chairmen. Two out of three chairmen pulling out should herald a government collapse,” Kaju said.
“They see they cannot pursue agreeable policy in the government and are concentrating on elections instead. It is as abnormal as it is understandable,” the analyst said.
Kaju described Ossinovski’s resignation as healthcare and labor minister as a logical move that follows three main considerations.
“Alcohol policy has been made Ossinovski’s fault. I believe it is the government’s responsibility, but the public does not feel that. And so, it has been a millstone around Ossinovski’s neck and that of the social democrats,” he added.
Ossinovski will still be in office during state budget strategy deliberations. That means Ossinovski and the social democrats will still have to find a solution to excise duty policy. “Whether they’ll lower the duties or not, they will have to take that step,” Kaju said.
“The third aspect is that the government has come to a standstill. Nothing can be done a year before elections. Relations with partners, especially IRL, are not good. There are conflicting positions regarding several political questions, and no new common initiatives to be found,” Kaju said. He added, however, that such a deadlock is commonplace on the eve of elections.