Reform Party puts forward Roivas as PM candidate

  • 2014-03-13
  • From wire reports, TALLINN

The Estonian Reform Party's new prime ministerial candidate, Taavi Roivas, said in an interview to national television ETV's evening news on Wednesday, March 12 that becoming the candidate came unexpectedly for him but that he believes he can handle the job, reports Public Broadcasting.

Social Minister Roivas (34) who was proposed after the Reform Party's veteran politician, European Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas, unexpectedly announced his withdrawal from the coalition talks on Wednesday, said that the choice of the Reform Party board to propose him as the next prime ministerial candidate came unexpectedly for him too.

"I think that it is reasonable to give people time to get used to the idea," he said, commenting upon a quick poll by the Postimees newspaper portal, according to which 88 percent of people think that he is not the right person for the job of prime minister. "My task now is to reach a state where we have a working government. Let's work on that first."

Roivas said, when asked what his vision is as the prime minister, that the next government must certainly cut labor taxes and raise child support and pay more attention to security.

Commenting upon the question about his youth, and that more experienced members of the government might just not listen to him, he said that "youth is a phenomenon that passes with every day. I am a member of the government of the republic today and I think that no member of the government would say that my words don’t have any weight in the government today."

"I am not afraid of much of anything in the job, since I have a rather exact understanding what the work means. I have experience as a government member and long-term experience from the parliament," he said, adding that the only thing he is afraid of is that he will now have a lot less time to spend with his family.

The Reform Party's prime ministerial candidate Kallas announced Wednesday morning that he has decided not to form the new Estonian government due to the recent massive media campaign against him, which would be an unfair burden for the new government to bear, and that he will return to his work as European Transport Commissioner.

The emergency board meeting of the Estonian Reform Party decided then that instead of Kallas, Scial Minister Roivas will become the Party's prime ministerial candidate.