President Karis: The new government is not an election campaign but a vehicle for steering Estonia through crises
In Kadriorg this morning, President Alar Karis met with Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, who submitted to the head of state her resignation and with it that of the entire government. Based on the agreement between the Reform Party, the Pro Patria party and the Social Democrats to form a new coalition, President Karis then proposed that Kallas, as the leader of the Reform Party, form the next government.
President Karis had previously met with the chairmen of all of the parties represented in parliament to obtain an overview of the status quo in domestic politics.
The head of state said that despite being formed during the summer recess, he expected the coalition to start work immediately, with all of the ministers taking charge of their areas of responsibility without delay. “I have no intention of referring to the new coalition as an interim or transitional government,” he added. “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.”
In this situation, the head of state says, the resignation of the serving prime minister and the outlining of the basis of the formation of the new government to the Riigikogu are intrinsic parts of a parliamentary state. “The support of the majority of the parliament will bolster the new government, and the promise to work with the opposition is not an empty one or merely hot air, but a normal approach to state governance,” he said.
President Karis says it is important that the new coalition work together as a team from the outset. “The parties need to find strong candidates for the ministerial posts and to ensure that their delegations in the government are led by politicians who have the competence to make decisions and whose decisions will stand,” he advised. “That will make the cabinet the place in which the executive authority makes the final decisions needed for the governance of the state.”
Over the coming days, President Karis will be meeting with the proposed ministers in the new coalition to gauge the approach they intend to take in heading up their areas of responsibility.
In accordance with the Constitution, the head of state nominates the candidate for prime minister, who is granted the authority to form a government by the parliament. The head of state then appoints the members of the government, after which they swear the oath of office before the Riigikogu.