TALLINN - Leading parliamentary parties have begun to make passes at the group of Social Liberals that left the Center Party this year in an attempt to increase political leverage on the eve of the upcoming budget battle.
Prime Minister Juhan Parts, chairman of Res Publica, one of three in the ruling coalition, went so far as to offer the eight MPs membership. In an interview with TV3 news on Tuesday Parts said that the party’s door was open to the Social Liberals.
But Res Publica is not alone. The first deputy chairman of the Reform Party, another coalition partner, said they would be welcome in the party. “They must know that they are welcome to the Reform Party,” he said. The Eesti Paevaleht daily said the group of eight lawmakers would meet on Wednesday to weigh the various proposals.
The chairman of the group is Sven Mikser, and other members include deputy chairman Harri Ounapuu, Peeter Kreitzberg, deputy speaker of Parliament, Liina Tonisson, Jaanus Marrandi, Robert Lepikson, Mark Soosaar and Olev Laanjarv.
The Social Liberals left the Center Party early this year due to irreconcilable difference with party leadership, including Tallinn Mayor Edgar Savisaar.