Estonia’s PM to resign a year before elections

February 24, 2014 - 7:01:57 am
TALLINN: Estonia’s Prime Minister Andrus Ansip said yesterday he would submit his and his government’s resignation to the country’s president on March 4, with slightly more than a year to go before parliamentary elections.

The move is aimed at finding a new prime minister from his own party for the coming year who could contest the next regular elections due in March 2015. “So today is the day that I can assure you: on Shrove Tuesday, I will hand my resignation application to the President of the Republic,” Ansip said in his annual Independence Day eve speech on state-owned TV.

“The preparations for the next parliament elections in 2015 have begun.” Ansip, Estonia’s longest-serving prime minister, has held office with three coalition governments since April 2005, and said two years ago he would not form another government. The prime minister’s centre-right Reform Party is betting the president will again nominate a leader from his party to form a new government as it still holds the largest number of seats in parliament, although is losing support in opinion polls. “As the chairman of the Reform Party, I assure you that we have candidates who would do well in the role of prime minister,” Ansip said.