The opposition Reform Party intends to submit a motion of no confidence against Prime Minister Jüri Ratas in the Riigikogu on Monday. The text of the motion, for which Reform is collecting signatures, says that the current government is damaging to Estonia’s reputation, destructive of its societal cohesion and spending at its future expense.
Reform is proposing that the Riigikogu be convened for an extraordinary sitting on Monday, Aug. 26 at 10 a.m. for a no-confidence vote against Ratas.
“We must regretfully profess that as prime minister, Jüri Ratas has been incapable of ensuring the dignified governance of Estonia,” the motion reads. “Jüri Ratas has been incapable of forming a government that would work toward moving Estonia forward. Instead, Estonia has a government that has, since taking office, attacked various societal groups and destroyed its society’s cohesion. We have a government that is damaging Estonia’s international reputation, and whose incompetent ministers overstep the bounds of their authority and for whom the rule of law means nothing at all. We have a government who, despite economic growth, have been spending and continue to spend at the future’s expense.”
The no-confidence motion highlights that statements made by politicians of the ruling government coalition — which consists of the Centre Party, the Conservative People’s Party of Estonia (EKRE) and Isamaa — have damaged Estonia’s reputation before strategic international partners, and that Ratas has been powerless to prevent or stop this from happening.
“Jüri Ratas’ government could lead Estonia into dangerous international isolation,” it notes.
The authors of the statement refer to last week’s attempt by Minister of the Interior Mart Helme (EKRE) and Minister of Finance Martin Helme (EKRE) to dismiss Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) Director General Elmar Vaher as the most flagrant example yet of the political persecution of top officials as well as of ongoing disorder within the government.
“Jüri Ratas as prime minister did not dismiss either Mart or Martin Helme from their positions after the facts were ascertained,” the motion reads. “Nor did any other sanctions follow this unlawful action. As such, Jüri Ratas is establishing a political culture in which the only justification for a minister’s resignation is a criminal investigation. This demonstrates that he as prime minister is incapable of judging the seriousness of the situation or defending civil servants. Estonia cannot move on from this as though nothing had happened.”
The authors of the text likewise note that the prime minister has repeatedly shown that his word means nothing in the government, and that he is incapable of keeping his ministers in check, even as they overstep the principles of the rule of law and parliamentary democracy.
“Untold apologies and many promises to improve things that have time and again proven to be empty clearly show that Jüri Ratas is too weak and incompetent for the office of prime minister,” the Reform Party writes in its no-confidence motion. “Taking all of the aforementioned into account, it is clear that Jüri Ratas does not understand the responsibility that comes with the role of prime minister. Thus, expressing no confidence in Prime Minister Jüri Ratas is unavoidable.”