Former prime minister quits Center Party to join Isamaa

Jüri Ratas and leader of Isamaa Urmas Reinsalu.
Jüri Ratas and leader of Isamaa Urmas Reinsalu. Photo: Mihkel Maripuu

Jüri Ratas, former leader of the Estonian opposition Center Party, member of the party's governing board and current deputy speaker of the Estonian parliament, announced at a press conference on Monday that he has quit the Center Party and is joining another opposition party, Isamaa.

Ratas underscored that an alternative is needed for the incumbent government led by the Reform Party.

«People's living standards are declining, and the economic downturn is worsening. The government, led by the Reform Party, has veered off course and lacks the resolve to make decisions. Sometimes, it appears to me that their reluctance to decide is intentional; they prefer blaming others rather than taking responsibility. This approach, in my view, constitutes irresponsible leadership,» Ratas said.

He noted that the domestic political landscape is marked by animosity and polarization.

«It has been caused by the current economic climate and the failures of recent political decisions,» he said.

«Estonian teachers, driven by increasing frustration, have taken to the streets to protest against the government's breach of promises, demagoguery, and deceptive policies. It is imperative to initiate an honest dialogue with teachers as soon as possible, to swiftly find the necessary 10 million euros, fulfill previously made commitments, and discuss future reforms and necessary changes in an open and inclusive manner,» he added.

Ratas said that his passion and commitment to politics remain steadfast, adding that, after thorough deliberation, he concluded that Isamaa aligns best with his aspirations and goals in the political arena.