Estonia’s Prime Minster Taavi Roivas loses confidence vote

November 9, 2016 9:10 pm

Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Roivas speaks to reporters as he arrives for an EU summit in Brussels, October 20, 2016. (Photo by AP)

’s Prime Minster Taavi Roivas has lost a confidence vote in the parliament after coming under fire for a lack of leadership by some political parties in the Baltic state.
On Wednesday, lawmakers in the 101-seat legislature ousted Roivas in a 63-28 vote, with 10 members abstaining or absent.
The vote was triggered earlier this week after two of the ruling coalition’s partners withdrew their support for Roivas and called for his resignation.
The left-leaning Social Democrats and conservative IRL Party blamed the prime minister for failing to push ahead with promised economic reforms and accused him of seeking a backroom political alliance with Juri Ratas (seen below), the newly elected head of the main opposition Center Party.
Roivas’ leadership has also been under pressure over appointments of party members to the boards of state-run companies.
Speaking after the vote, Roivas said the recent developments indicated that his coalition partners were negotiating behind the back of his center-right Reform Party.
“They have been negotiating to form a different kind of coalition with different kinds of ideas,” he said.
The current Estonian government was formed in April 2015 with an uneasy alliance between three parties holding 59 seats in the parliament.
Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid has summoned the heads of the six parliamentary parties for consultations on forming a new government.
A new prime minister must be designated within two weeks. The new leader will then face a confidence vote that would signal the end of Roivas’ tenure.
Estonia, with a population of 1.3 million, is a NATO member state and critical of the Black Sea Crimean Peninsula’s reunification with Russia. 
The country, which is facing the weakest economic growth since a record recession in 2009, is expected to take over the European Union’s rotating presidency in the second half of 2017.
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