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BREAKING: Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas Resigns, Disbands Government


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Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) resigned and disbanded the sitting minority government on Thursday morning.

Kallas handed a resignation notice to President Alar Karis at Kadriorg Palace in order to start the formation of the new Reform/Isamaa/SDE coalition.

The prime minister and the remaining Reform Party ministers all resigned from the government.

This follows the resignation announcements of Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, as well as the assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The world’s political leaders continue to fall like dominoes.

What’s going on?

ERR reported:

On Wednesday, politicians said they hoped a new coalition could be in place by Monday (July 18).

The Reform Party has been ruling as a minority government since Kallas kicked out the junior coalition partner, the Center Party, more than a month ago.

Last week, it was announced the three parties in the new coalition will receive five ministries each under the new coalition agreement and ministers are expected to be announced later today. It will have 56 seats in the 101-seat Riigikogu.

In a statement issued on Thursday morning, Kallas said she was grateful to the ministers who lead the country with her at a difficult time, listing the COVID-19 pandemic, Russia’s war against Ukraine and the energy crisis.

She also said the coalition did “many good and great things to make the Estonian state stronger and to support our people”.

“During the pandemic, we kept society open and the children in school, helped people cope with high energy prices, invested a billion euros in strengthening Estonia’s defence capabilities, and achieved strengthening the defence of NATO’s Eastern flank, and we have been one of the biggest supporters of Ukraine. I am grateful to the ministers, with whom we led the country for a year and a half. Estonia has been in good hands,” said Kallas.

President Alar Karis said he had accepted Kallas’ resignation request and nominated her as prime ministerial candidate to form a new government.

“I have no intention of referring to the new coalition as an interim or transitional government,” Karis said in a statement.

“The next eight months will require the total dedication of all of the parties in the coalition and of every member of the government. This is not some extended election campaign: it is about steering Estonia through a succession of crises involving national security, the pandemic, the economy, people’s ability to cope and ensuring a robust basis for the financing of the state.”

ABC News provided further info on the Estonian coalition:

Kallas, prime minister of the European Union and NATO nation since January 2021, kicked out the left-leaning Center Party from the two-party coalition on June 3 following disputes over spending and welfare policies amid increasing household costs due to high inflation.

The politically liberal Reform Party that runs on a conservative fiscal policy platform said late Friday it has struck a coalition deal with the opposition Social Democrats and the small conservative Fatherland (“Isamaa”) party.

Euronews added:

Karis said last week that the new Cabinet has no time to rest given Estonia’s economic woes and the consequences of Russia’s war in Ukraine.

“Estonia will have new ministers who must quickly start work to lead our people through inflation and what lies ahead in the autumn and winter in regard to energy prices,” Karis said.

Estonia’s inflation rate is now the highest in the 19-nation eurozone, with annual inflation hitting 22% in June, according to Eurostat, the EU statistics agency. High energy prices are one of the main causes of inflation.

The country is scheduled to hold a general election in March.



 

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