Jüri Ratas named Estonian Prime Minister
President Kersti Kaljulaid has asked Jüri Ratas, the leader of the Estonian Centre Party to form a new government. The move came after Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas of the centre-right Reform Party lost a vote of confidence in parliament earlier this month. The centre-left Estonian Centre Party (Keskerakond) (27 seats) is said to have received the support of the centre-left Social Democratic Party (SDE) (15 seats) and the centre-right Pro Patria and Res Publica Union (IRL) (14 seats) party in forming a coalition in the 101 seat parliament. Previously the SDE and IRL had been partners with Rõivas’ Centre Party.
The formal notification of the appointment as published on the presidential website is as follows:
“President of the Republic gave Jüri Ratas the task of forming the government
This morning President Kersti Kaljulaid met in Kadriorg with the Chairman of the Estonian Centre Party, Jüri Ratas, appointed him as candidate for the position of Prime Minister and gave him the task of forming a new government.
“In the wake of the expression of no confidence in the previous government, I have met with the chairpersons of all the parliamentary political parties and today I am convinced that Jüri Ratas has the capability to form a strong and energetic government. The foreign and security policy directions that Estonia has followed must continue, and this is what the chairpersons of all the three parties have confirmed to me. The programme of the new government coalition as well as the values and messages it will convey will be a decision taken by the Parliament for the purposes of parliamentary democracy. If the new government will garner the support of the majority of parliament, this can be deemed an expression of the will of the people. This is parliamentary democracy,” said President Kaljulaid.
In the coming week, the candidate for prime minister will introduce the grounds for the formation of the new government at the Riigikogu, which will then decide on whether he will be granted the authority to form a government. After receiving the authority from the Parliament, Ratas will present a list of government members to the President for appointing to office.”