By Andrius Sytas
VILNIUS (Reuters) – Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas’ liberal Reform Party announced on Friday it reached an agreement to form a majority coalition in the parliament, following a month of negotiations.
Kallas removed her junior coalition partner, the Centre Party, on June 3 after it sided with a far-right group in parliament to vote down government reform of primary education.
The Reform Party launched negotiations with the conservative Isamaa Party and the centre-left Social Democratic Party on June 11.
“Following today’s agreements, the three political parties will form a joint government coalition”, Reform said in a statement on Friday.
The parties, which will have 56 seats in the 101-member parliament, agreed to vote to switch to the Estonian language only for pre-school and primary education by 2024. Almost a quarter of Estonian’s population is ethnically Russian, according to government figures.
Kallas told news portal Deli she agreed to resign, at a later date, and get reappointed by the new majority as part of forming the new cabinet.
The next election in the European Union and NATO member nation of 1.3 million people is scheduled for March 2023.
(This story corrects number of seats in Estonian parliament, please read 101 not 100, in fifth paragraph)
(Reporting by Andrius Sytas in Vilnius; Editing by Leslie Adler)