At today’s sitting, the Riigikogu did not support authorising the candidate for Prime Minister Kaja Kallas to form a Government. 45 members of the Riigikogu supported Kallas and 53 were against.
At the beginning of her speech, Kallas admitted that she would not become Prime Minister that day. “We all know that. At this point, I might put a full stop, congratulate the coalition and go back to my seat in the fourth row, and keep my mouth shut in the future. However, I will not do that. No one in my Party or among the Social Democrats is going to do that,” Kallas said. She spoke of the events of the recent weeks and meetings with supporters of various political parties, where anxious emotions had prevailed in various places. However, at peaceful and business-like meetings, there had been interest in finding solutions to the real concerns of the people.
Kallas said the following about the new coalition: “You are afraid of change. You will not change anything, and you are not even concealing it. Estonia needs reforms, however. Salary rise, development of business, labour shortage, increasing of competitiveness, keeping abreast of the developments in the global economy, the environment, development of a smart economic model, a modern education system − these are just a few of the challenges of which entrepreneurs and state officials, analysts and top-level managers have spoken to me. These are the problems to which solutions are needed, but you are not offering any. Instead of that, you speak of spending and borrowing, and you do that in a situation where the financial situation of the country is poor. And I will not even ask how your ideas of an Estonia absolutely independent of all others agree with loan slavery.”
Kallas went on to say: “You have read the document on our values which we published last weekend. Understandably, this is not a coalition agreement, but it sets out the values and principles on the basis of which our Government would act. Our task and your task before this country and its people is to aspire for a better future, and not for a new coalition at any cost. Every one of us has been elected here not to just press the green button, but to think, to listen and to take responsibility. For our voters, our children, and our county.”
Kallas said: “Voters all over Estonia, I want to assure you that Estonia is still a democratic country. The new coalition may be accused of lacking content, but it is democratic. And please do not blame anything on the voters of the new coalition. Their voice must be audible, their needs must be catered for, their concerns must be addressed − do not silence or label them. There is still very much that needs to be done in our country, and as the new coalition is indifferent to that need, many people feel ignored. This is real and true, and addressing these concerns must also be real and true. Then will we have hope. Because we do have hope.”
Kallas said that the speech she had made had not been an announcement of surrender and good-bye. “In a few days’ time, the beginning of government will be announced from this rostrum − I have just announced the beginning of our opposition. I am still ready to govern Estonia on an equal basis with most of you, but until this happens, we will not let Estonia to be destroyed. We will not let our country to be steered into hatred and stagnation,” she said.
After her speech, Kallas replied to questions from members of the Riigikogu.
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Video recordings of the sittings of the Riigikogu can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/riigikogu
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