Monday, 25 January, 2021

Estonian prime minister Juri Ratas to resign, spokeswoman says

Estonian prime minister quits over corruption probe Jüri Ratas resigns as Estonian prime minister
Deanna Wagner | 14 January, 2021, 14:32

"As head of government, I did not feel in the case of Porto Franco that any minister or party had tried to sway the government's decisions in an illegal direction", Ratas said in his statement.

"Today, I made a decision to resign as Prime Minister of the Republic of Estonia in the current situation", Mr Ratas informed through social media.

He then blocked the victor from taking power by forming a surprise coalition of his left-leaning Centre, the conservative Fatherland party and the far-right EKRE that gave the three parties a majority in parliament. Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid said she would propose that Kaja Kallas, chairwoman of the main opposition, centre-right Reform Party, which emerged as the victor of the 2019 general election, to form the new Cabinet.

Ratas announced his resignation on Facebook after an hours-long meeting of his party's board in the night.

Prosecutors allege the development was promised permission to build a road on city property, in exchange for a donation of up to 1 million euros to the party ahead of municipal elections, BNS reported.

Hillar Teder, a businessman and the father of the company's owner, donated large sums to the Centre Party.

Estonian prime minister quits over corruption probe
Estonian PM Juri Ratas resigns over corruption scandal in his party

Ratas said it is "highly unlikely" that the EKRE, which is anti-European Union, will continue in the government.

According to Estonian law, President Kaljulaid now has 14 days to name a new prime minister who would then have to be approved by parliament.

Estonia last went to the polls in 2019.

Kallas, whose party won the 2019 election but was outmanoeuvred by Ratas, will need support in parliament for the nomination.

Instead, the Centre Party forged a coalition with EKRE and the right-wing Isamaa conservatives.

They have favoured austerity to keep spending in check, giving the country one of the eurozone's lowest debt-to-GDP ratios.

Naomi Osaka Becomes Louis Vuitton Ambassador
Do I call this a full circle moment? "She stays true to herself and doesn't compromise on her values". Osaka had a hilarious reply and wrote, " If she wants me to move in she should just say that ".