Estonian lawmakers approve new coalition led by Kaja Kallas

Riga, Jul 15 (EFE).- Kaja Kallas, the leader of Estonia’s liberal Reform party, was given a fresh mandate Friday by the Estonian parliament to form a new three-party coalition a day after she dissolved her previous government.

Sitting in an extraordinary session, the parliament, or Riigikogu, voted 52 to 26 to back a new government consisting of an even number of ministers each from Kallas’ Reform Party, the conservative Fatherland Party and the Social Democratic Party.

There will be 15 ministers in the new coalition, five from each party.

According to local media, six of the proposed ministers have no previous ministerial experience and five of those are not sitting members of the Riigikogu.

Four ministers will continue in their previous positions. Of the 15 ministers, seven are women, including the prime minister.

All 15 new ministers will be sworn in before the parliament on Monday, after Kallas presents the entire government to Estonian president Alar Karis in another formal step needed to officially form a new government.

Since firing seven ministers from the Center Party on June 3, Kallas led a minority government and held talks to form a new coalition that ended with an agreement in principle between Reform, the Fatherland Party and the Social Democrats last week.

Kallas dismissed the seven ministers in her previous coalition government in a shakeup precipitated by a dispute over family benefit policy that has been brewing for weeks.EFE


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