Wednesday. 17.04.2024

Estonia has a new government coalition in place, a week-and-a-half after prime minister Juri Ratas resigned in connection with corruption allegations against his Centre party.

The liberal, pro-business Reform party of opposition leader Kaja Kallas, who was tasked with forming a new government, signed a coalition agreement with the Centre party on Monday in Tallinn.

The alliance comes with a majority of 59 out of 101 seats in parliament.

The 43-year-old Kallas, a lawyer and daughter of former EU commissioner Siim Kallas, can now become the country's first female prime minister if the parliament votes in her favour.

"The first thing we will tackle is the health crisis," said Kallas, according to media reports. Ratas also said that overcoming the coronavirus pandemic will be the new government's main task.

EU and NATO

The Reform and Centre parties have been Estonia's two main political forces since the Baltic country regained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, and are both strong proponents of the EU and NATO.

According to the Estonian constitution, Ratas' resignation earlier this month automatically led to the resignation of the entire government.

Prosecutors have said there is no reason to believe Ratas knew about the state aid loan to a real estate project that triggered the investigations into party members that led him to resign.

New government in place in Estonia after premier's resignation