Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid in Kadriorg on Wednesday afternoon appointed the government led by Juri Ratas into office.
The head of state authorized to office the government of the Center Party, Estonian Conservative People's Party (EKRE) and Isamaa, which will be able to assume office once the ministers have taken the oath of office before the parliament. They will likely be able to do this next Monday.
The new government consists of Center Party members Juri Ratas as prime minister, Mailis Reps as minister of education and research, Taavi Aas as minister of economic affairs and infrastructure, Jaak Aab as minister of regional affairs, Tanel Kiik as minister of social affairs, Isamaa members Juri Luik as minister of defense, Raivo Aeg as minister of justice, Urmas Reinsalu as minister of foreign affairs, Riina Solman as minister of population affairs, Tonis Lukas as minister of culture and EKRE members Mart Helme as minister of the interior, Martin Helme as minister of finance, Rene Kokk as minister of the environment, Mart Jarvik as minister of rural affairs and Marti Kuusik as minister of foreign trade and IT.
In a speech made before the government was appointed to office, Juri Ratas said that a great responsibility before the people of Estonia will befall the government coalition.
"The Estonian Center Party, EKRE and Isamaa have emphasized that the new government will stand for a strong, democratic and protected Estonia as well as all people. We wish to build a wealthier, healthier and more coherent state in which values and freedoms important to our society are preserved, in which every person, regardless of gender, age and nationality, feels secure, necessary and taken care of. I thank everyone who trust us in achieving these goals," Ratas said.
"I also know that we must make an effort to ensure that there are even more people around us. We will prove with out actions that, in governance, we take indeed take into account the best interests of Estonia and all people living here. We are not the government of the voters of the three parties, but of everyone, regardless of political preference and choices. Everyone is important for our small country. We must understand that we will move forward namely with cooperation, development, not demolition, understanding, not hate. Every one of us can do more for that and contribute more toward that," the prime minister said.
According to Ratas, the three-party coalition will count on constructive cooperation between the government and the opposition, with experts and various associations. "We will develop a democratic state based on the rule of law in which freedom of media, speech and creativity, the opportunity for self-realization and self-development are guaranteed. We will create a fair Estonia to which all those, who for some reason or another have decided it better to leave here, would return to," he said.
The prime minister said that the three-party coalition will continue firmly on the current foreign policy course and wishes to have a say in issues of global important as a member of the European Union, NATO and the United Nations. "We will also run for a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council in order to bring the perspective of small countries more into security issues," he said.
EKRE leader Mart Helme, who is to become the new interior minister, emphasized that speculations as though the country is facing a stagnation government do not stand.
"This is a government that will change the outdated practices concerning the budget, very many fossilized stances in Estonian politics, and, believe me, in four years, once this government has been in office, Estonia will have become significantly better and more democratic, the guarantee of this is that we will initiate the public initiative, the procedure of referendum," Helme said.