Parts resigns, president deliberates PM nominee

  • 2005-04-06
  • By The Baltic Times
TALLINN 's Prime Minister Juhan Parts officially announced his decision on Thursday that the government would resign, while MPs re-elected Ene Ergma as speaker of Parliament as a sign of cooperation.

Parts announced his resignation on Monday after parliamentarians, many from ruling parties, voted to remove Justice Minister Ken-Marti Vaher for an apparently poorly drafted anti-corruption program.

"There is nothing unnatural in opposition parties expressing no-confidence vote to a minister. But when the ruling parties join a no-confidence motion against a government minister, it is clear that the work and cooperation potential of this government are gone irretrievably," the prime minister said on Monday.

Eiki Nestor, deputy chairman of the Social Democratic Party faction in Parliament, said the reelection of Ergma signaled that parties were finding the will to cooperate. "Ergma's becoming speaker shows that the Reform Party, the Center Party and Res Publica have started to cooperate," he said.

Speculation has focused on a wide range of possible coalitions, and many analysts believe that President Arnold Ruutel will select the prime minister nominee from either the Reformists or the Centrists.

Reform Party Deputy Chairman Meelis Atonen said the Reformist could join a coalition with Res Publica and the Centrists if the partners agree to its demand that the personal income tax be cut further.

Chairwoman of the Center faction, Vilja Savisaar, didn't rule out a coalition between the three parties either. "Everything's thinkable. It wouldn't be a marriage between us, but agreeing about what could be done with such a coalition," she was quoted by the Baltic News Service as saying.