Udayavni Special

Estonia’s new government sworn in with first-ever female PM


PTI, Jan 26, 2021, 4:16 PM IST

Helsinki: Estonia’s new two-party coalition government has been sworn in with the first female prime minister in the Baltic country since it regained independence in 1991.

The 15-member Cabinet of Prime Minister Kaja Kallas — a 43-year-old lawyer and a former European Parliament lawmaker — was approved Tuesday in the 101-seat Riigikogu legislature, after President Kersti Kaljulaid had first appointed it.

The centre-right Reform Party, chaired by Kallas, and the left-leaning Centre Party, which are Estonia”s two biggest political parties, clinched a deal on Sunday to form a government replacing the previous Cabinet led by Centre leader Juri Ratas that collapsed this month due to a corruption scandal.

Both parties have seven ministerial portfolios in the Cabinet in addition to Kallas” prime minister post. The government musters a comfortable majority in the Parliament.

The Reform Party emerged as the winner of Estonia”s 2019 general election under Kallas” lead but she failed to form a government at the time.

Kallas stressed gender balance in forming the new Cabinet, placing several women in key positions such as Reform”s Keit Pentus-Rosimannus as finance minister and Eva-Maria Liimets, Estonia”s ambassador to the Czech Republic, as the foreign minister.

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